Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   




Smith and Young Families of northern Rhode Island




Chillson (Chilson) Family



The Chillson Family Name is also spelled "Chilson" in some records. My branch of the Family was originally from
Massachusetts and moved from the Blackstone River Valley in southern Massachusetts to northern Rhode Island
in the middle to late 1700's.

The following outline of the Chillson Family comes from a few sources and represents ongoing research. The information
on Walsingham Chillson to William Chillson is based on the research of my distant cousin Susan Roe of California
and the research of my cousins William and Vicki of New York. Thanks to my distant cousin Sandra of Texas
for providing family contact information.

The information on Joseph Chillson is based on the research of Susan Roe of California. Susan is a national expert on
the Chillson Family and has publised a book on the descendants of Walsingham Chillson. If you have research questions
regarding the Chillson Family, try contacting Susan at: SueMHR@aol.com .

The information on John Chillson and descendants is based on my own research. The information on John’s military service
in the Revolutionary War and the Second Rhode Island Regiment is based on my own research. I am currently doing
some side research projects on the Rhode Island Continental Regiments as well (see my link below for a web page on
Capt. Stephen Olney’s Light Infantry Company).





Walsingham1 Chillson

b. Abt. 1613 in Devonshire?, England
m. Abt. 1638 in Salem, Massachusetts    Mary ( ? )     b. Abt. 1615 in Devonshire?, England    d. August 24, 1674 in Saco, Maine
d. Aft. 1669 in Saco, Maine


Walsingham immigrated to Salem, Massachusetts before 1640. He owned land in a portion of Salem that was later
set off for the town of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Walsingham was likely a fisherman or mariner while in Essex County,
Massachusetts. By 1659, Walsingham had moved to Saco, Maine, where he likely died after 1669. There are three
proven children of Walsingham Chillson (see Chilson Chatter Family Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1998), published by
Susan Roe).


children:

William2 Chillson (Abt. 1639 - 1676)
Mary2Chillson (Abt. 1641 - 1661)
***John2 Chillson
Joseph???2 Chillson (Abt. 1642 - ?)
James???2 Chillson (? - ?)





***John2 Chillson (Walsingham1)

b. Abt. 1645 in Marblehead?, Massachusetts
m. July 28, 1667 in Lynn, Massachusetts    Sarah Ann Jenckes     b. 1652 in Lynn, Massachusetts    d. ? in Bellingham, Massachusetts
d. Abt. 1730 in Bellingham, Massachusetts


John lived in Lynn, Massachusetts before moving to the Bellingham, Massachusetts area along the northern border
of Rhode Island. He was a farmer. John’s wife Sarah Jenckes (Jenks) was the daughter of Joseph Jenks, who worked at
the Saugus Iron Works at Saugus, Mass. Sarah’s brother Joseph Jr. moved his family to modern day Pawtucket,
Rhode Island, built an iron foundry there, and established the well-known Jenckes Family in Rhode Island.


children:

Joseph3 Chillson (1670 - 1740)
Sarah3Chillson (1673 - 1731)
***William3 Chillson
Walsingham3 Chillson (1681 - 1760)
John3 Chillson (1677 - 1774)
Elizabeth3 Chillson (1693 - 1775)






***William3 Chillson (John2, Walsingham1)

b. July 1, 1675 in Lynn, Massachusetts
m. May 23, 1696 in Lynn, Massachusetts    Jane Rhodes     b. July 14, 1679 in Lynn, Massachusetts    d. Aft. December 26, 1727 in Mendon, Mass.?
d. Bef. November 13, 1727 in Mendon, Mass.
burial: unknown


William was a farmer and miller who owned land in Bellingham, Massachusetts by 1699. He later owned land in
neighboring Mendon, Massachusetts in the early 1700’s.


children:

***Joseph4 Chillson





***Joseph4 Chillson (William3, John2, Walsingham1)

b. Bef. 1706 in Bellingham, Massachusetts?
m1. January 5, 1734/35 in Lynn, Massachusetts    Elizabeth Thoyts     b. ? in Lynn, Mass.?    d. Aft. December 20, 1735 in Massachusetts ?
m2. July 22, 1746 in Glocester, R.I.    Sarah Blanchard     b. 1728 in Warwick, R.I.    d. Aft. June 21, 1762 in Smithfield, R.I.?
d. Abt. 1793? in Smithfield, R.I.?
burial: unknown


Joseph probably grew up in the Bellingham/Uxbridge, Massachusetts area before crossing the state border to live in
Rhode Island. His son Joseph Jr. served in the Revolutionary War as a soldier in Capt. John Angell’s Smithfield
Company of the Rhode Island State Militia from 1774 to 1777, then in various Rhode Island State Militia companies
from 1778 to 1781 (Revolutionary War Pension File S30325).

Joseph was rather poor and sick in the 1770's in Smithfield, R.I. Ezekiel Comstock served as his Guardian from 1771 to
May 16, 1774. Joseph's daughter Mary, "a poor girl," was bound over to Ezekiel Comstock as an Indentured Servant on
May 16, 1774. My ancestor Dr. Thomas Smith provided physician services to Joseph Chillson in 1774 and billed the Town
of Smithfield. Joseph Chillson billed the Town of Smithfield for keeping the boy Esek Phillips, son of Stephen Phillips,
up to 1778 (source: Smithfield Town Council Journal, 1771 - 1797, FHL Microfilm 959,526). No other records in Smithfield
for Joseph Chillson have been found after 1778. It is possible he moved out of state during this time period.


children1:

Jonathan5 Chillson (1735 - Aft. 1757)
Alexander5Chillson (Bef. 1740 - Aft. 1815)


children2:

Elizabeth5 Chillson (1747 - ?)
Mary5Chillson (1748 - 1749)
Joseph5 Chillson Jr. (1749 - 1838)
Rufus5 Chillson (1752 - Aft. 1773)
***John5 Chillson
Sarah5 Chillson (Abt. 1762 - Aft. 1829)
Mary5 Chillson ( ? - Aft. 1774)





***John5 Chillson (Joseph4, William3, John2, Walsingham1)

b. April 24, 1755? in Smithfield, Rhode Island
m. October 20, 1787 in Smithfield, R.I.    Sarah Newland     b. October 15, 1766 in Norton, Massachusetts of Antony Newland and Patience Woodward
d. After 1820 in Smithfield, R.I.
d. 1815 in Smithfield, R.I.
burial: unknown, likely in an unmarked grave in the Slatersville, North Smithfield area


John Chillson served in the American Revolutionary War six years as a soldier in the Continental Army
and was in several battles. Note that he died before the first 1818 Federal Pension Act.
The following is a compilation of his service and the actions of his units, the Second Rhode Island Regiment
(Continental) and the Rhode Island Regiment (Continental).




(Sources:

U.S. National Archives Microfilm M881, "Compiled Service Records of Soldiers in the American Army
during the Revolutionary War," Roll# 850, "John Chillson."
U.S. National Archives Microfilm M804, "Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files,"
Roll#536, BLW #1908-100.
U.S. National Archives Microfilm M246, "Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783" (Original Muster Rolls).

Website: "Rhode Island Historical Society Library Manuscripts Division: Revolutionary War Military Records":
http://www.rihs.org/mssinv/Mss673sg2.htm
Website: "Captain Tew's Company of Colonel Angell's Regiment" Reenactment Group with Regt. History:
http://home.comcast.net/~fredra/2ndrir.html
Website: "Lafayette's Virginia Campaign (1781): http://xenophongroup.com/mcjoynt/laf_va.htm
Website: "George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress" (includes Washington's General Orders):
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/gwhome.html
Website: "The New Jersey Brigade at the Battle of Monmouth," 2003, by John U. Rees:
http://revwar75.com/library/rees/monmouth/Monmouth.htm#map

John Rees' works are numerous, excellent, and well-recommended, see the revwar75.com website for more.

Website: "The Virginia Campaign and the Blockade and Siege of Yorktown 1781" by Colonel H.L. Landers, 1931
(Available on U.S. Army Center of Military History) Website: http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/RevWar/Yorktown/AWC-Ytn-fm.htm
Website: “U.S. Army Center of Military History: The Continental Army: Bibliography: Rhode Island”:
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/reference/revbib/ri.htm
Website: “Marinus Willet: Campaign on the Northern Frontier”:
http://www.fortontario.com/History/George2/Willett.html



Recommended Reading:
Colonel Israel Angell, "Diary of Colonel Israel Angell," New York Times Reprint, 1971 (Original Manuscript
Transcribed by Edward Field; Published by Preston and Rounds Co., Providence, R.I., 1899)
David Hackett Fisher, "Washington's Crossing," Oxford University Press, 2004
Joseph Plumb Martin, "A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier" (previously published as "Private
Yankee Doodle"), Signet Classic, Penguin Putnam Inc., New York, 2001 (1830)
Colonel Anthony Walker, "So Few the Brave (Rhode Island Continentals 1775 - 1783)," Newport, R.I.:
Seafield Press, 1981 (One of the best review books ever written about the R.I. Continental Line)
Catherine Williams, "Biography of Revolutionary Heroes containing the Life of Brig. Gen. William Barton
and also, of Captain Stephen Olney," published by the author, Providence, R.I., 1839
Jeff Shaara, "The Glorious Cause," 2002, Ballantine Books, New York


Daniel M. Popek, They "...fought bravely, but were unfortunate...," The True Story of Rhode Island's
"Black Regiment" and the Failure of Segregation in Rhode Island's Continental Line, 1777 - 1783, AuthorHouse, 2015.
Finally, someone got the story straight! A Non-Brown University Production! This detailed book gives the real story
of Rhode Island's colored Continental Battalion and how published histories on the unit have been distorted and
propagandized since before the Civil War. The veteran white and European soldiers of the Second Rhode Island
Regiment and the integrated Rhode Island Regiment are also listed prominently and acknowledged for the first time
in this work. The soldiers of the July 1780 Rhode Island Six Months Continental Battalion are included in this book
for the first time. Several new interesting subplots to the Rhode Island Continental Line story are published here.
A standout work!!!








Life for the enlisted Continental soldier of the American Revolution was difficult. The American logistics
and supply system was very primitive, especially early in the war. Uniform clothing was ripped and torn with
all of the marching and day to day life in camp. New clothing and shoes were promised to the troops by the
great State of Rhode Island, but seldom delivered. Thus, the Rhode Island troops often had to brave the
elements (ice, snow, rain, wind) with little more than rags for cover. Food was also a scarce item, and it
was not uncommon for the enlisted soldier to go for up to four days without any food at all. The pay that
they received was paper Continental money that was mostly worthless due to the hyperinflation of the War.
One month's pay might buy one decent dinner for the average private. After all that the men went through,
it is not surprising that several units mutinied during the war. The Second Rhode Island Regiment was no
exception, as it experienced a few mutinies, most ending peacefully. For a good sense of what life was
like for the average enlisted Continental soldier, read Joseph Plumb Martin's account of his "adventures
and sufferings." Joseph was a member of the Eighth Connecticut Continental Regiment, a fellow regiment of
the 2nd R.I.R. in General Varnum's Brigade in 1778.





By the late Autumn of 1776, the American Revolution appeared to be all but over. The British Army
under General William Howe had punished the American Army under General George Washington in
a series of defeats from Long Island to New Jersey. By December 1776, General Howe had established
a chain of garrisoned towns across New Jersey to the Delaware River. Newport, Rhode Island had been
captured without a battle by a British and Hessian force under General Henry Clinton in early December.

On December 26, 1776 during a snowstorm, the remnants of General Washington’s Army, many barefoot,
hungry, and ragged, crossed the Delaware River and attacked the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey.
The Hessian garrison was surprised by the attack, but fought back bravely and was overwhelmed by the
superior numbers and artillery of the Americans (the Hessians were not drunk as is popularly related).
Washington concentrated all of his forces at Trenton to confront General Cornwallis on January 2, 1777 in
the second Battle of Trenton. During the night of January 2, 1777, Washington marched his army northeastward
behind a screen of rearguard troops along Assunpink Creek and flanked the superior British forces of Cornwallis.
By marching to Princeton, Washington’s Army reached the rear area of the British Army, and they were able to
defeat a smaller British infantry force in the Battle of Princeton. The Rhode Island Brigade led by
Col. Daniel Hitchcock played a major role in the American victories at the second Battle of Trenton and the
Battle of Princeton.

In the span of a month, Washington had reversed the fortunes of the American Army and had given America the
victories it needed. After the Battle of Princeton, the main American Army retreated to Morristown, New Jersey
for winter quarters. The Americans remained active though, as mixed units of Continentals and militia
(mostly New Jersey militia) conducted the “Forage War” against the British and Hessian forces in New Jersey in
early 1777. Other Continental soldiers were sent home to recruit a new army that would serve three years (the
preceding three paragraphs are based on the excellent book "Washington’s Crossing" by David Hackett Fischer,
Oxford University Press, 2004).





John Chillson apparently served in a militia unit in North Providence, Rhode Island in early 1777 (and perhaps earlier).
He is listed as "John Chlson" under the "Chartered Company in North Providence" in the 1777 Military Census of
Rhode Island, dated April 19, 1777 (p. 63, Mildred M. Chamberlain, "The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census,"
Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985). The "Chartered Company" is presumably the North Providence Rangers,
an independent town-formed militia. The commanding officer of the “Chartered Company” was Capt. Joseph Olney,
the father of Capt. Stephen Olney. Joseph Olney would become a Major in the Rhode Island Militia and would fight
at the Battle of Rhode Island with the Light Infantry forces along the skirmish line at the start of the battle
(p. 25, James H. Olney "A Genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Olney: an original proprietor of Providence, R.I.,
who came from England in 1635," Providence, R.I., Freeman & Son, 1889).






April 1777    The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment is recruited as a new Continental Regiment in Rhode Island
around a cadre of experienced officers and men of the old 11th Continental Regiment. The 11th Continental Regiment
of 1776 had been commanded by Col. Daniel Hitchcock, who died in January 1777 after he developed an illness during
the severe winter conditions of the Trenton and Princeton campaign. The new recruits are stationed at the College
that was to become Brown University in Providence. After being innoculated with smallpox, detachments of the Second
Rhode Island Regiment march to Morristown, New Jersey under the command of Col. Israel Angell.


John Chillson enlisted in Capt. Stephen Olney's Company of the Second Rhode Island Regiment for the duration
of the war ("during the war") on May 9, 1777 at North Providence. At the time of enlistment, John was 5 feet 9.5 inches
tall with light hair and a light complexion; he was a cooper born in Smithfield, R.I. and residing in North Providence
when he enlisted (information from page 4, Regimental Book, Rhode Island Regiment (1781 - 1783), Microfilm Section,
Rhode Island State Archives, Providence, R.I.). John Chillson was appointed a sergeant in Capt. Olney's Company.
Captain Stephen Olney was from North Providence, Rhode Island and in the Spring of 1777 was a seasoned veteran,
having served as an officer with the Continental Army since 1775 through the Siege of Boston, the New York
Campaign, and the Trenton and Princeton Campaign under Colonel Daniel Hitchcock.


May 1777    The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment is with Washington's Army at Morristown, New Jersey.

June 1777    The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment marches north to the New York Highlands (Peekskill area),
where it remains for the summer. By August 1777, the men of the 2nd Rhode Island were in a very ragged condition.
Col. Israel Angell, on August 27, 1777 from Camp No. 2 in Peekskill, N.Y. wrote to the Governor of Rhode Island:
"....I did, indeed expect when I came from Home to find my men poorly Habitted nor was I disappointed their Dress
even exceeded for badness what I had imagined to myself. "
"Not one half of them can not be termed fit for duty on any immergency [sic]; Of those, who of them went with me on
a late expedition near to Kings bridge many were bare foot, in consequence of which its probable they won't be fit
for duty again for many week 5 of them there deserted to ye enemy which I have reason to beleive [sic] was principally
owing to ye non fulfillment of engagements on ye part of ye State and what may be expected better than this that more
will follow their example while they daily experience that publick faith is not to be depended on. In fine ye Regiment
is scandallous in its appearance in ye view of every one -- and has because of this incurred from surrounding regiments
from ye inhabitants of Towns thro which they have lately passed, ye disagreeable and provoking Epithets of the
Ragged Lousey Naked Regiment. -- Such treatment, gentlemen, is discouraging dispiriting in its tendency:
it does effectually unman ye Man and render them almost useless in ye Army I am sorry to have occasion to continue
my complaint in their behalf but as I look upon it, a matter, not of Empertinence but of Inportance [sic] I cannot
refrain in justice to them." (from "Diary of Colonel Israel Angell," p. xii).

Later in the summer, Washington's Army fights the Philadelphia campaign against Howe's Army which attacks north
overland from the head of the Chesapeake Bay. The Americans are beaten at the Battles of Brandywine Creek and
Germantown in September and early October respectively, and the British capture Philadelphia.

October 7, 1777    The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment along with the 1st Rhode Island Regiment marches
to Red Bank, New Jersey on the Delaware River and garrisons Fort Mercer. General Washington is attempting to cut
the British supply lines over the Delaware River to Philadelphia.


October 22, 1777      Battle of Red Bank (Fort Mercer), N.J. A Hessian force of 1200 men commanded
by Colonel Count Von Donop surrounds Fort Mercer. Von Donop demands the surrender of the fort. Lt. Col.
Jeremiah Olney of the 2nd Rhode Island Regt. refuses: "We shall not ask nor expect any quarter, and mean to defend
the fort to the last extremity." The Hessians attack the fort in two columns and are met with a galling fire from
the Rhode Islanders. The attack fails with over 150 dead and 200 wounded Hessian casualties; Col. Von Donop
is mortally wounded in the attack. Capt. Stephen Olney writes about the aftermath of the attack: "I had charge of
the guard on that night after the battle. My sentries were placed round the whole fort. The part we had evacuated
on the preceding day, was covered with dead, wounded, and dying Hessians. The groans and cries of the wounded
and dying, were dreadful music to my ears; and but for the reflection of what would have been our fate had they
been victorious, our sympathy would have been truly distressing."
"The day had been quite warm, but the night was extremely cold. I had on thin clothes, and never suffered more at any
time or season of the year. Several of the wounded and nearly dying, appeared to suffer with the cold. I had them
removed into a little hut without any floor, where was a little fire, which rendered them more comfortable than in the
open air." (Catherine Williams, "Biography of Revolutionary Heroes containing the Life of Brig. Gen. William Barton
and also, of Captain Stephen Olney," page 225). For one of the best written books on the Battle of Red Bank and the 1777
Delaware River Campaign, see Samuel Stelle Smith's "Fight for the Delaware 1777," Philip Freneau Press, Monmouth Beach,
N.J., 1970.








Known Rhode Island Casualties from the Battle of Red Bank
(Abstracted from the original company muster rolls - - the list of wounded is obviously not complete)
NOTE: There are no battlefield monuments from the State of Rhode Island to these native sons who were killed
and wounded at the Battle of Red Bank. As a native Rhode Islander, I am ashamed, but not surprised. The State of
New Jersey has erected a large monument to these Rhode Islanders at the Red Bank Battlefield; however, their names
are not listed at Red Bank. This list is my best effort from the available records, but unfortunately it is not complete.


First Rhode Island Regiment (Col. Christopher Greene)

Capt. Oliver Clarke Company Commander, taken prisoner October 22, 1777
(Capt. Clarke was taken prisoner by mounted Hessian Jagers while he was reconnoitering the approaching Hessian
force outside of Fort Mercer. The Jagers shot Clarke's horse down, and he was pinned under the horse. Capt. Clarke
remained a British prisoner for over a year before being exchanged. He was left out of the officer arrangement of
the First Rhode Island Regiment in 1778 and did not serve in the Continental Army again for the remainder of the war).

Private John Brown, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Co.

Private Benjamin Peter, “killed October 23, 1777” - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Co.

Private Samuel Shipy (Shippee), “deceased October 23, 1777” - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Co.

Sgt. George Babcock, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. Thomas Arnold’s Co.

Private William Kirk (Hicks?), killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. Thomas Arnold’s Co.

Private William Sharper, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. Thomas Arnold’s Co.

Private William Taylor, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. John S. Dexter’s Co.

Sgt. John Gould, “died October 23, 1777” - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Co.

Sgt. George Popple, Capt. John S. Dexter’s Co., wounded in action (wounded by a musket ball in the right thigh/hip) October 22, 1777 (Pension File W18428 and Muster Roll)

Cpl. Jonathan Clarke , Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Co., likely wounded in action October 22, 1777 (December 1777 Composite Muster Roll)

Pvt. Thomas Reynolds, Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Co., likely wounded in action October 22, 1777 (December 1777 Composite Muster Roll)

2nd Lt. John Pierce (Pearce), Capt. Silas Talbot’s Co., wounded in action October 22, 1777 (Heitman, p. 432)




Second Rhode Island Regiment (Col. Israel Angell)

Capt. Sylvanus Shaw Company Commander, killed in action October 22, 1777
(Capt. Shaw was a veteran officer who served as a Lieutenant in Capt. Samuel Ward’s Company in Col. Greene’s
division of Col. Benedict Arnold’s expedition to Quebec in the Fall of 1775. He was captured during the failed
assault on the city and spent most of 1776 as a British prisoner (NEHGS Register, “Expedition against Quebec”,
Vol. 6, April 1852, p. 136)).

Private Asa Potter, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. Stephen Olney’s Co.

Sgt. Nathaniel Stoddard, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. William Allen’s Co.

Private Stephen Luther, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. William Allen’s Co.

Private Jonathan Bridgood, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Co.

Sgt. Eleazer Wescott, killed in action October 22, 1777 - - Capt. William Tew’s Co.

Pvt. Anthony Foster, wounded in action - - Capt. William Allen’s Company: “wounded in the hip,
by reason of the bursting of a shell, in the action of Red Bank, New Jersey, October 22, 1777” (from
John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations", Vol 10, p. 163).

Pvt. Richard Shephton, wounded in action - - Capt. William Allen’s Company: “several wounds
received in the action of Red Bank, Oct. 22, 1777” (from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations", Vol 10, p. 167).

Pvt. Frederick Kerker (Reniker), Capt. William Allen’s Co., likely wounded in action October 22, 1777 (December 1777 Composite Muster Roll)

Pvt. Franklin Tennant, Capt. William Allen’s Co., likely wounded in action October 22, 1777 (December 1777 Composite Muster Roll)

Pvt. John or Jonathan Pearce, Capt. William Allen’s Co., likely wounded in action October 22, 1777 (December 1777 Composite Muster Roll)










Interpretive Sign, Gloucester County New Jersey Parks Division, Fort Mercer
General map of the Delaware River valley below Philadelphia.





Portion of the Whitall House, which was standing during the Battle of Red Bank.





View of the Whitall House at Fort Mercer, New Jersey. Col. Christopher Greene
used this house as his headquarters for most of the time that the Rhode Island Regiments
were at Red Bank.





Monument at Red Bank to General Hugh Mercer, who was mortally wounded by the British at the
Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. Fort Mercer was named for General Mercer.





Interpretive Sign, Gloucester County New Jersey Parks Division, Fort Mercer
The men of the two Rhode Island Regiments had constructed an earthworks wall and abatis inside the old
Fort Mercer, effectively reducing the size of the fort. This fortification design was the creation of
Capt. Chevalier de Maduit du Plessis, a French Army Officer serving with the American Army (Heitman, p. 444).
Capt. du Plessis, who had training and expertise in military engineering and artillery, ensured that Fort Mercer’s
cannon were emplaced with clear fields of fire and cross fire options on the approach routes to the fort.
In the end, this decision to reduce the fort size ended up dooming the Hessian attack. After the eastern Hessian
column captured the old portion of the fort (on the map, “vieux fort” in French - - this map is believed to have been
drawn by Capt. du Plessis), they were faced with having to attack the real strength of Fort Mercer. The Rhode Island
defenders, supported by artillery, laid out a murderous fire of musketry into these Hessians who had captured the old
portion of the fort. The Hessians, who were attempting to regain their honor from the Hessian disaster at Trenton in
December 1776, basically found themselves trapped in an open pit with clear fields of fire for the American artillery
and infantry and also American Naval vessels in the Delaware River. There was nowhere to hide and the brash attack
by the Hessians ended in a slaughter.





Map from above interpretive sign.
Close-up view of the French map of the attack on Fort Mercer. The left side of the map corresponds roughly to
the east while the right side is roughly west (north is to the bottom). Capt. Stephen Olney’s Company was
fighting from the thin earthwork projection in the upper left of the inner fort. Capt. Olney stated in his report
of the battle that his company had good lines of cross-fire on the eastern Hessian column.





Monument to Polish Military Engineer Kosciuszko, who designed many of the American
Delaware River defenses. Kosciuszko served in the American Army as a military engineer for most of the war.





View of the south end of the inner portion of Fort Mercer where the two Continental
Rhode Island Regiments were stationed to repel the Hessian attack.





View of the New Jersey State Monument to the First and Second Rhode Island Regiments and Col. Christopher Greene
in the inner part of Fort Mercer. As usual, there are no monuments from the State of Rhode Island at Fort Mercer.





Interpretive Sign, Gloucester County New Jersey Parks Division, Fort Mercer
This sign shows the route of the Hessian march to Fort Mercer from Cooper’s Ferry across from Philadelphia.
Col. Christopher Greene was warned of the Hessian approach by Haddonfield, N.J. native Jonas Cattell, seen in
the illustration. Jonas is buried in a cemetery in the local area which visitors can drive to.





Plaque on the New Jersey State Monument. Plaque reads: “On this spot on October 22, 1777 COLONEL
CHRISTOPHER GREENE of the First Rhode Island Continentals with four hundred officers and men
of the First and Second Rhode Island Regiments successfully defended FORT MERCER against an assault
of two thousand Hessians in the British service. The attacking force was disastrously defeated with the
loss of its commander Count von Donop, thirty-six officers, and nearly six hundred men. The American loss
was thirty-seven.” The Hessian force was actually about 1200 men with the American force slightly over 500 men.





Plaque on the New Jersey State Monument. Plaque reads: “COLONEL CHRISTOPHER GREENE of Rhode Island,
defender of Fort Mercer, a Continental soldier from the beginning of the Revolution who fought for his
principles and died for his country, was killed in combat with Delancey’s Tory Light Horse near Pines Bridge
Westchester County New York May 14, 1781.” Col. Greene was awarded an ornamental sword from the
American Congress shortly after the Battle of Red Bank for his successful defense of the fort.





Plaque on the New Jersey State Monument. Plaque reads: “Colonel Count Carl von Donop of Hesse Cassel
mortally wounded in the assault of Fort Mercer died as he himself avowed a victim of his own ambition and the
avarice of his prince October 28, 1777.” He was buried near the banks of the Delaware River.





View from the base of the New Jersey State Monument of the inner fortification. The earthworks of the old
Fort Mercer, which the Rhode Islanders had abandoned, are seen in the background along with the 1829 monument.
Capt. Stephen Olney’s company fought off the left side of this picture behind the New Jersey State Monument.





Interpretive sign, Gloucester County New Jersey Parks Division, Fort Mercer





Original 1829 monument to the Rhode Island Regiments under Col. Greene.





Side of the original 1829 monument to the Rhode Island Regiments.





View of the Philadelphia Naval Yard on the Delaware River from Red Bank, New Jersey.





View across the Delaware to the Pennsylvania shore and Fort Mifflin (not visible). The old Mud Island
where the Americans had built a fort and later defended (unsuccessfully) against the British Navy has been
filled in and has become part of the modern west bank. Several of the Rhode Islanders were sent to defend the
Mud Island fort, and Major Simeon Thayer of the Second Rhode Island Regiment took command of this fort late in
the British siege prior to the American evacuation. For a good description of the defense of the Mud Island
fort, read Joseph Plumb Martin’s account.





View from a dock on the Delaware River of the inner section of Fort Mercer and the New Jersey State monument.





Plaque of the Battle of Red Bank (Fort Mercer) on the General Hugh Mercer monument.








November 15, 1777    The British Navy successfully attacks and reduces nearby Fort Mifflin (the Mud Fort). The
Rhode Island and Connecticut garrison retreats and the two Rhode Island regiments march to join Washington's Grand Army.
In December, the two Rhode Island Continental Regiments are ordered to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.







Portion of the original December 1777 Composite Muster Roll for Captain Stephen Olney's Company dated December 18, 1777
the day before the Second Rhode Island Regiment arrived at Valley Forge, PA. John Chillson is the second sergeant listed in
the upper left of the muster roll. Image from Microfilm M246, "Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783," "Second Rhode Island
Regiment," courtesy of the U.S. National Archives.






December 19, 1777     Starvation and Death:   Valley Forge, PA    The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment arrives at
Valley Forge, PA, where the American Army goes into winter camp and monitors the British Army who
occupy Philadelphia. The regiment is drilled under General Von Steuben during the Winter and Spring
of 1778. Conditions at Valley Forge are severe during the winter for the Americans. Several men of the
Second Rhode Island die in January 1778 due to exposure to the weather and lack of food. Some of the
infantry companies have up to 30% of their men on the sick rolls and almost all of Rhode Island’s Continental
companies are understrength. The two depleted Continental Rhode Island Regiments are merged into an all white
unit called the “Second Rhode Island Regiment” under the command of Col. Israel Angell in early May 1778 plus
one special company called "Captain Thomas Arnold's Detachment" (see Dan Popek's 2015 book).
Col. Christopher Greene is sent to Rhode Island to recruit a new regiment from the free blacks and slaves of
the state; this new regiment will be called the “First Rhode Island Regiment” or the “Black Regiment.” The
veteran Rhode Island Continental soldiers at Valley Forge receive new training from Baron von Steuben.
The sickness and deaths, however, continue in the Second Rhode Island Regiment all the way up to the Battle
of Monmouth in New Jersey in June 1778. The total number of deaths from Valley Forge will far outnumber any
of the single engagement battle deaths that the Second Rhode Island Regiment endured during the war.
Valley Forge truly was the darkest hour for the Second Rhode Island Regiment.


Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    Present    March 1778    Dated April 1, 1778    Valley Forge (PA)
Co. Pay Roll    March 1778    2 pounds    8 shillings


Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    Present    May 1778    Dated June 2, 1778    Camp Valley Forge (PA)
Co. Pay Roll    May 1778    2 pounds    8 shillings








Known Rhode Island Deaths from Valley Forge [The State of Rhode Island has been too cheap to acknowledge these men with a monument at Valley Forge]
(Abstracted from the original company muster rolls - - from the arrival of the Second Rhode Island Regiment
on December 19, 1777 to the eve of the Battle of Monmouth on June 27, 1778. Note that some of the company
muster rolls are missing, so this is not a complete list; I have included the men of the 1777 First Rhode Island Regiment.)



First Rhode Island Regiment (Original 1777 regiment under the command of Col. Israel Angell beginning January 1778)

Private Quam Cook died February 21, 1778 (February 25, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Thomas Cole’s Company

Private Jonathan Taylor died April 26, 1778 (April 1, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Thomas Cole’s Company

Private Lewis Billeo died January 20, 1778 - - Capt. John S. Dexter’s Company

Private Timothy Noyce died January 24, 1778 - - Capt. John S. Dexter’s Company

Private Henry Wiggins died January 7, 1778 (January 15, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Thomas Arnold’s Company

Private Ceasar Cole died January 23, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Arnold’s Company

Private Elias Milliard died December 30, 1777 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Private William Champlin died January 24, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Private Daniel Rose died January 25, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Private Robert Nokelieg died February 4, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Private James Quaco died March 5, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Private Daniel King died April 20, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Sgt. Jeremiah Clarke died April 28, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Pvt. Simon Debago died April 30, 1778 - - Capt. Oliver Clarke’s Company

Pvt. William Sweet died January 8, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Joseph Ladd died January 14, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Oliver Green died January 22, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Power Allen died February 26, 1778 (February 16, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Humphrey Clinker died March 21, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

(Drums and Fifes) Pvt. William Colgrove died March 20, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Obadiah Lewis died April 1, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Charles Winman died April 6, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. John Perry died April 8, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. William Smith died April 20, 1778 - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Thomas Boston died May 2, 1778 (April 30, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Ebenezer Flagg’s Company

Pvt. Jack Foster died January 22, 1778 - - Capt. Silas Talbot’s Company

Pvt. Jack Ward died February 20, 1778 - - Capt. Silas Talbot’s Company

Pvt. William Jelley died March 26, 1778 (March 28, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Silas Talbot’s Company

Pvt. Henerey Pisquish died January 3, 1778 - - Capt. Jonathan Wallen’s Company

Pvt. Amos Gardner died February 16, 1778 - - Capt. Jonathan Wallen’s Company

Pvt. Robert Hart died April 1, 1778 - - Capt. Elisha Lewis’ Company

Sgt. Elisha Sherman died April 8, 1778 - - Capt. Elisha Lewis’ Company





Second Rhode Island Regiment (Col. Israel Angell)

Pvt. Jonathan Luthar (Luther) died January 9, 1778 - - Capt. William Allen’s Company

Pvt. Frederick Reniker died February 1, 1778 - - Capt. William Allen’s Company

Pvt. Micajah Milligin died March 18, 1778 - - Capt. William Allen’s Company

Pvt. Stephen Weaver died July 1, 1778 (from long sickness at Valley Forge) - - Capt. William Allen’s Company

Pvt. Stephen Stretson (Stutson) died December 22, 1777 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Pvt. William Butten died January 24, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Cpl. Edward Dodge died February 9, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Drummer William Phillips died May 13, 1778 (May 10, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Pvt. Anthony Straton (Stratten) died May 15, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Pvt. Charles Garrow (Garew) died May 2, 1778 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Company

Pvt. Daniel Bragg died January 1, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Pvt. Nathan Billings died February 14, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Pvt. Isaac Vibut (Vibert) died February 23, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Pvt. George Niles died April 30, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Pvt. Ceaser Cook died April 30, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Cpl. Silvanus Ames died May 16, 1778 (May 15, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Sgt. Reuben Thorp died January 7, 1778 (“discharged” January 7, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Sylvester Davis died January 30, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Ickbod Peck died January 30, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Jabiz Leach died March 1, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Abel Bump died March 1, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Elisha Ballou died March 1, 1778 (March 11, 1778 on Company Pay Roll) - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. William Russell died April 1, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Solomon Shippart died April 8, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

2nd Lieutenant Simeon Jennings died April 21, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. William Bidwell died June 1, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Elisha Inman died June 1, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Gideon Dexter died August 1, 1778 (after long sickness at Valley Forge) - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company

Pvt. Joseph Bozworth died May 21, 1778 - - Capt. Stephen Olney’s Company

Sgt. Thomas Sabens died June 20, 1778 - - Capt. Stephen Olney’s Company

Pvt. Abijah Bugbee died March 12, 1778 - - Capt. Sylvanus Shaw’s Company

Pvt. Oliver Washburn died March 20, 1778 - - Capt. Sylvanus Shaw’s Company

Pvt. Joseph Turner died April 31, 1778 - - Capt. Sylvanus Shaw’s Company (under command of
Capt. Stephen Olney)
(Sources: March 1778 Company Pay Roll and “Joseph and Sarah (Thurston) Turner of Newport, Rhode Island” by
Helen S. Ullman, NEHGS Register, Vol. 160, July 2006, p. 218)

Pvt. Abraham Hopkins died June 30, 1778 (after long sickness at Valley Forge) - - Capt. Sylvanus Shaw’s Company
(under command of Capt. William Humphrey)

Pvt. James Mitchell died July 15, 1778 (after long sickness at Valley Forge) - - Capt. Sylvanus Shaw’s Company
(under command of Capt. William Humphrey)

Pvt. John Gibbons died April 1, 1778 - - Capt. William Tew’s Company

Pvt. Caleb Eddy died May 31, 1778 - - Capt. William Tew’s Company

Chaplain / Surgeon's Mate Ebenezer David died March 19, 1778 - - 2nd Rhode Island Regiment
A graduate of College of Rhode Island in 1772, Ebenezer served in the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment
during the latter half of 1777 as the Chaplain after studying medicine in Providence that year.
He became a surgeon's mate on February 3, 1778 for Col. Angell's Regiment. While tending the many
sick at the American hospital at Lancaster, PA, Ebenezer caught "putrid fever" (typhus) and died
March 19, 1778 at Lancaster, PA (source: "A Rhode Island Chaplain in the Revolution: Letters of
Ebenezer David to Nicholas Brown 1775 - 1778," edited by Jeannette D. Black and William Greene Roelker,
The Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati, Providence, R.I., 1949, pages xiii, xxiv, xxvi, xxvii, 75).
Ebenezer David was buried in the Presbyterian Church of Lancaster, which currently refuses to put up a
U.S. Veteran Affairs marker for him. If you think this inaction by the Presbyterian Church is disrespectful,
as I do, write the Presbyterian Church of Lancaster a letter of support for a real American hero.

Lieutenant John Waterman died April 23, 1778 - - Staff Officer, Quartermaster of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment
His body is thought to lie near the 1901 Daughters of the American Revolution Monument (commonly called the “Waterman
Monument”) at Valley Forge National Military Park. Other Rhode Islanders are possibly buried nearby.












May 20, 1778     Barren Hill Engagement, Pennsylvania. The Marquis de Lafayette is given the command
of an American infantry detachment of about 2200 men supported by artillery. The detachment is to conduct a
reconaissance-in-force of the British Army units at Philadelphia as Washington has received intelligence that
the British plan to evacuate Philadelphia for New York City. Lafayette moves his force to a position overlooking
the Schuylkill River just northwest of Germantown and sets up his camp at Barren Hill. Local Tories alert the
British Command at Philadelphia, who then plan an encirclement of Lafayette’s Detachment with a major
portion of the British Army. Late at night on the 19th of May, the British Army begin their march from
Philadelphia to bypass Lafayette’s left flank, which is poorly guarded by Pennsylvania Militia. These militia fail
to observe and report the British march, and by the morning of May 20, the British have almost completed their
encirclement. When Lafayette realizes he is almost completely encircled, he commands his detachment to act like
they will stand and fight, while he prepares the detachment to conduct an orderly retreat to Matson’s Ford at
modern day Conshohocken, PA. Several men of the Second Rhode Island Regiment were part of Lafayette’s
Detachment. Joseph Plumb Martin from Varnum’s Brigade was there and gives a good description of the affair in his
journal. As Lafayette leads the main part of his detachment to Matson’s Ford, he orders Major Simeon Thayer of the
Second Rhode Island Regiment to command a rearguard of 300 men at the Barren Hill Church to hold off the British.
Some skirmishing occurs between the American Forces (including one company of Oneida Indians who attack
a party of British dragoons) and the British Army, but almost all of Lafayette’s Detachment successfully retreats over
Matson’s Ford back to American Lines at Valley Forge. The engagement at Barren Hill was a precursor for the
major battle at Monmouth, New Jersey (Sources: Website: "Captain Tew's Company of Colonel Angell's
Regiment" Reenactment Group with Regt. History: http://home.comcast.net/~fredra/ExtractSimeonThayerJournal.html
Website: “[Oneida] Skirmish at Barren Hill, Revolutionary War”:
http://www.oneidaindiannation.com/history/28612644.html ) .







June 28, 1778     Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey. The British Army under General Henry Clinton abandons
Philadelphia in June and begins a march through New Jersey for New York City via Sandy Point, New Jersey, where
they will be met by the British Navy and ferried to Manhattan Island. The American Army at Valley Forge begins an
immediate pursuit of the British. General Washington plans to send some Light Infantry detachments out to catch up with
the British and harass their rear. When the American light troops catch up with the British, Washington hopes to send a
strong force of troops under American General Charles Lee out to surround a portion of the British rearguard
and to capture it. On the 24th of June, an American Light Infantry detachment of 1440 men is sent out from
the main American Army under Brigadier General Charles Scott to catch up with the British rear. Some
of the men of the Second Rhode Island Regiment are picked to join this force. On the 25th of June,
Washington sends out another Light Infantry detachment of 1000 men under General Lafayette and
General Anthony Wayne to support the first American force. Some of the men of the Second Rhode Island
Regiment are also detached to join this force (Website: "The New Jersey Brigade at the Battle of Monmouth,"
2003, by John U. Rees: http://revwar75.com/library/rees/monmouth/MonmouthToc.htm).
Joseph Plumb Martin of the Eighth Connecticut Regiment of Varnum’s Brigade was in this second detachment of
Light Infantry. He tells us: “Our detachment marched in the afternoon and towards night we passed through Princeton
[New Jersey]; some of the patriotic inhabitants of the town had brought out to the end of the street we passed
through, some casks of ready made toddy, it was dealt out to the men as they passed by, which caused the
detachment to move slowly at this place. The young ladies of the town, and perhaps of the vicinity, had collected
and were sitting in the stoops and at the windows to see the noble exhibition of a thousand half starved and three
quarters naked soldiers pass in review before them. I chanced to be on the wing of a platoon next to the
houses, as they were chiefly on one side of the street, and had a good chance to notice the ladies, and I declare
that I never before nor since saw more beauty, considering the numbers, than I saw at that time; they were all
beautiful.” (Joseph Plumb Martin, "A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier" (previously published as
"Private Yankee Doodle"), Signet Classic, Penguin Putnam Inc., New York, 2001 (1830), p. 107).

On the 26th of June, Scott’s Virginia Brigade and the remainder of Varnum’s Brigade were sent out under
the command of General Charles Lee to join up with the two previous American detachments and attack
the British rearguard near Monmouth, New Jersey. Joseph Martin states: “......we left the route of the enemy and
went off a few miles, to a place called Englishtown......Whether we lay here one or two nights, I do not remember......
we were early in the morning [of June 28] mustered out and ordered to leave all our baggage under the care
of a guard......and prepare for immediate march and action. The officer who commanded the platoon that I belonged
to was a Captain, belonging to the Rhode-Island troops, and a fine brave man he was; he feared nobody nor nothing.
When we were paraded, - “Now,” said he to us, “you have been wishing for some days past to come up with the
British, you have been wanting to fight, - now you shall have fighting enough before night;” - the men did not
need much haranguing to raise their courage, for when the officers came to order the sick and lame to stay behind
as guards, they were forced to exercise their authority to the full extent before they could make even the invalids
stay behind.......” (Martin, p. 109).

At the beginning of the Battle of Monmouth, Wayne’s and Scott’s Detachments engage the British near Monmouth
courthouse and are faced with a larger force of British than the “rearguard” that they had anticipated. General Lee
loses control of the lead American units and a somewhat orderly American retreat begins with the British Dragoons,
Guards and Grenadier Battalions in hot pursuit. British General Clinton soon leads his men forward against the
Americans. With the American forces soon in disarray, General Washington arrives on the field and takes command;
he orders Lee to form a temporary line at the Hedgerow Fence and to hold off the charging British until
the main part of the American Army can be lined up at Perrine Hill. With temperatures approaching 100 degrees,
the remaining portion of Varnum’s Brigade (composed of the 2nd R.I. Regt., 4th Connecticut Regt., and
8th Connecticut Regt) plus a large portion of Wayne’s Light Infantry Brigade (Livingston’s, Ramsey’s, Stewart’s
Battalions) fight behind and near the Hedgerow Fence on the Rhea Farm. Varnum’s Brigade beats back a
British Cavalry charge and holds off a charge by the British Grenadiers long enough for General Washington to
complete his main battle line on Perrine Hill. Varnum’s Brigade and Wayne’s Light Infantry Brigade retreat to
Perrine Hill after taking and inflicting heavy casualties. Later in the afternoon, an artillery duel occurs between
the American and British forces. General Nathanael Greene leads Virginia infantry and Continental artillery to
the top of Combs Hill in the afternoon of June 28. The enfilading artillery fire from Combs Hill forces the
British artillery to withdraw. Some of the men of Varnum’s Brigade are detached under the command of
Col. Cilley of New Hampshire to attack the British 42nd Highland Regiment (the “Black Watch”) near the
Sutfin Farm. Joseph P. Martin of Varnum’s Brigade was involved in this attack and wrote an interesting account
of this action (Martin, pp. 112-114). Cilley’s attack on the British Highlanders is where the Second
Rhode Island Regiment’s Major Simeon Thayer was wounded in the eye. The British retreat the next day
northward to Sandy Hook, New Jersey (sources for preceeding paragraph: Website:
"The New Jersey Brigade at the Battle of Monmouth," 2003, by John U. Rees;
New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Monmouth Battlefield
State Park Brochure;
New Jersey DEP, Div. of Parks and Forestry, Monmouth Battlefield State Park, “Monmouth Battlefield
Walking Tour Brochure: Combs Hill to the Hedgerow and Parsonage,” written by Dr. David Martin, June 2004,
Friends of Monmouth Battlefield, Inc.).



Sgt. John Chillson apparently was wounded or injured in the Battle of Monmouth as he was listed as
"Absent without Leave" on the July 13, 1778 Company Muster Roll of Capt. Stephen Olney. John was
probably serving with one of the detached light infantry commands. John was given full pay for June and
July 1778 (Company Pay Rolls) and was not listed in Washington's General Orders for court martials.


Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    June 1778 Remarks: "Absent without Leave"    Dated July 13, 1778    Camp Paramus (N.J.)
Co. Pay Roll    June 1778    1 month pay    3 pounds

Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    Present August & September 1778    Dated October 9, 1778    Warren (Rhode Island)
Co. Pay Roll    July 1778    1 month pay    3 pounds





Known Rhode Island Casualties from the Battle of Monmouth
(Abstracted from the original company muster rolls - - the list of wounded is obviously not complete)
Unless otherwise noted, these men are from the Second Rhode Island Regiment under the command of
Lt. Col. Jeremiah Olney (Col. Israel Angell was “on command” in Rhode Island at the time of the battle).
Again, the State of Rhode Island has failed to erect a proper monument for these men.


Cpl. Arthur Smith “Missing” in action June 28, 1778; later died - - Capt. William Tew’s Company

Pvt. Samuel Cushing killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. William Allen’s Company

Pvt. Anderson Briggs wounded in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. William Allen’s Company

Sgt. Joseph Kinyon killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Cpl. James Cross killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

Pvt. James Whittelsey killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. Thomas Hughes’ Company

2nd Lieutenant Nathan Wickes killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Company

Pvt. Assel Bennot (Bennett) killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Company

Pvt. Edward Ward missing in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Company

Pvt. Jonathan Lewis Gareu taken prisoner June 28, 1778 (later escaped) - - Capt. William Potter’s Company
Perhaps Jonathan wanted to be captured......I stumbled over this court martial in Washington’s General
Orders: “May 30, 1778 General Orders.......General Court Martial May 28, 1778......John Lewis Garew,
of Col. Angell’s Regiment tried for threatening to take the lives of several officers of that Regiment found guilty
and sentenced to receive sixty lashes, approved and ordered to be put in Execution at Roll-Call this Evening
at the head of the Regiment to which he belongs.” (from Library of Congress George Washington Papers Website).

Pvt. William Benjamin died June 27, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Pvt. Aron Fish killed in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. William Potter’s Company

Pvt. Jabez Pratt - - Capt. William Potter’s Company: “seven wounds received in the Battle of Monmouth,
June 28, 1778,” (from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,"
Vol 10, p. 163).

Pvt. George Bradford - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company: “......a lame arm, occasioned by a wound
received in the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778, which fractured the bone and renders the arm weak, and the
wound has several times broken out......” (from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations," Vol 10, p. 165).

Pvt. William Edmunds wounded in action June 28, 1778 - - Capt. William Humphrey’s Company:
wounded by bayonet in the thigh and wounded by bayonet in the left arm (source: Pension File S45367,
Thanks to Martha, a descendant of William Edmunds, for notifying me about William’s wounds and pension file).

Sgt. Jeremiah Greenman - - Capt. William Humphrey’s Company: wounded in the thigh, Battle of
Monmouth (source: “Diary of Jeremiah Greenman”)

Capt. Thomas Arnold, “Loss of the right leg in the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778” (from
John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Vol 10, p. 166).

Major Simeon Thayer Regimental Field Officer, Second Rhode Island Regiment, Wounded in action:
right eye injured by the close passing of a cannonball (eyesight in the right eye permanently lost),
Battle of Monmouth (source: Website: "Captain Tew's Company of Colonel Angell's Regiment" Reenactment
Group with Regt. History:    http://home.comcast.net/~fredra/ExtractSimeonThayerJournal.html )









Entrance sign to the Monmouth Battlefield State Park in New Jersey.





Statue of General Baron von Steuben, whose training at Valley Forge turned the
American Army into a professional fighting force, in front of the State of New Jersey’s
Visitor Center on Combs Hill.





Interpretive map in the New Jersey Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center.
The map shows the preliminary attack by General Anthony Wayne’s Light Infantry Brigade
on British forces at the beginning of the battle.





Interpretive map in the New Jersey Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center.
The map shows the British attack on the Hedgerow and American defense of the “point of woods.”





Interpretive map in the New Jersey Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center.
This map shows the current borders of the Monmouth Battlefield State Park with land cover and opposing
forces disposition late during the Battle of Monmouth.





Interpretive Sign, New Jersey Monmouth Battlefield State Park.
This sign describes the action at the Hedgerow early in the afternoon of June 28, 1778.





Close up view of the map on the above Interpretive Sign of the Hedgerow fight.





View from the American side of the section of the Hedgerow defended by Varnum’s Brigade. Varnum’s Brigade
had its left flank anchored by the road near the clump of trees on the left. Lt. Col. Oswald deployed his artillery
battery on the hill to the bottom right of this photo to provide covering fire for Varnum’s and Livingston’s Brigades.





Close-up view of the position held by Varnum’s Brigade at the Hedgerow Fence.





View down the Englishtown Road to Spotswood Middle Brook, which is the low valley in the background of this photo.
Varnum’s and Livingston’s Brigades were forced to retreat down this road to the bridge across the brook and
up on the Perrine’s Hill Ridge, which is visible in the far background. Washington’s main army formed up on the
right side of the Englishtown road on Perrine’s Hill Ridge.





The “Molly Pitcher” sign off the Englishtown Road west of Spotswood Middle Brook.





This photo shows the view from the American position on Perrine Hill facing east towards the attacking British forces.
The Sutfin Farm is visible in the center left portion of the photo. Col. Cilley’s attack on the British 42nd Regt.
occurred on the left side of the Sutfin Farm. Several Rhode Islanders of the Second Rhode Island Regt. took
part in this attack, and Maj. Simeon Thayer was wounded during this engagement.





Interpretive Sign, New Jersey Monmouth Battlefield State Park.
This sign explains Rhode Island General Nathanael Greene’s flanking move on Combs Hill.





Close-up view of the map from the above sign. Note the British unit northeast of the Sutfin Farm. This is the
42nd Highland Regiment that Col. Cilley’s Detachment would later attack. Another American infantry attack
led by General Anthony Wayne late in the afternoon of June 28 would occur near the Parsonage.





View from Combs Hill to the Parsonage in the right center portion of the photo. The Sutfin Farm can be
seen in the far center left background of this picture. The Hedgerow is off the right side of this picture. Spotswood
South Brook is seen in the foreground.





View of the southern end of the Hedgerow.





View of the Tennent Meeting House, built in 1751 and located behind the American Lines during the Battle of Monmouth.





Plaque on the Tennent Meeting House.





D.A.R. marker for the Battle of Monmouth on the Tennent Meeting House.





Grave marker for unknown American Continental soldiers killed at the Battle of Monmouth and buried
at the Tennent Meeting House.








August 9, 1778    The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. arrives at Portsmouth, Rhode Island as a part
of Varnum’s reorganized Brigade to begin the combined Franco-American expedition against the British at
Newport, R.I. The French Fleet under Count D'Estaing arrived off Newport, R.I. on July 29, 1778.

August 11, 1778    A hurricane strikes the Rhode Island coast during the night and continues until
August 13, 1778. Both the British and French fleets are scattered by the storm. Count D'Estaing
withdraws on August 22 from Newport to refit in Boston Harbor.

August 15, 1778    The American force under Maj. Gen. John Sullivan begins its seige of the
British earthworks outside of Newport, R.I. With the French fleet's departure and the arrival
of Lord Howe's British fleet, the Americans retreat to the northern end of Aquidneck Island
during the night on August 28, 1778.

August 29, 1778      The Battle of Rhode Island. During the early morning hours, the British
attack the American picket forces comprised of Continental Light Infantry and Rhode Island State Militia Light Infantry
units. The American Light Infantry fight tenaciously, but are driven back by heavy numbers. The main American Army is
made up of New England Continental Regiments supported by New England militia units and is entrenched on the northern
end of Aquidneck Island. The First Rhode Island Regiment ("The Black Regiment") anchors the right of the American line
near a redoubt. The First Rhode Island Regt., under the command of Lt. Col. Samuel Ward and exposed to combat for the first
time as a separate regiment, bravely fights the Hessians, but is forced to retreat. The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. under
Col. Israel Angell is sent to the assistance of their fellow R.I. Continental Regiment during this attack and helps push
the Hessians back to the Turkey Hill line. Col. Angell described the action: “......the advanced piquet [i.e. American
Light Infantry force] was to come off at 12 oclock [i.e. midnight of August 28, 1778] the enemy finding that we had left
our ground pursued with all possible speed Come up with our piquet about sunrise and a smart firing begun, the piquet
repulsed the Brittish troops 2 or 3 times but was finily obliged to retreat as the Enemy brought a number of field pieces
against them the Enemy was soon check’t by our Cannon in coming up to our main body and they formed on Quaker Hill and we
took possession of Buttses Hill the left wing of the brittish army was Compossed of the hessians who Attackt our right wing
and a Sevear engagement Ensued in which the hessians was put to flight and beat of the ground with a Considerable
loss our loss was not very great but I cannot assertain the number. I was ordered with my Regt to a Redoubt on a Small
hill which the Enemy was a trying for and it was with Difficulty that we got there before the Enemy. I had 3 or 4 men
kill’d and wounded to day at night I was ordered with my Reg to lie on the lines I had not Slept then in two nights more
than two or three hours the Regt had eat nothing during the whole Day this was our sittuation to goe on guard,
but we marched off Chearfully and took our post.” (“The Diary of Colonel Israel Angell,” “August 29, 1778,” pp. 8 - 9).



Known Rhode Island Casualties from the Battle of Rhode Island
(Abstracted from the original company muster rolls - - the list of wounded is not complete)
While Rhode Island allowed liberal special interest groups to put up a monument with permanent deserters on it
(i.e. the 2005 "Black Regiment" Monument at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, see Daniel Popek's book for details), the
following men have gotten no monument on the battlefield.


Pvt. Joseph Mathewson (Matteson) Killed in action August 29, 1778 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Company, Second R.I. Regt.

Pvt. Robert Parker Taken prisoner August 29, 1778 - - Capt. David Dexter’s Company, Second R.I. Regt. [never returned to Regiment]

2nd Lt. John Pierce (Pearce) Wounded in action August 29, 1778 - - Capt. John S. Dexter’s Company,
First R.I. Regt. (Heitman, p. 432)

Pvt. Charles Scott “Lame hip, occasioned by a wound received in action with the British on Rhode Island,
Aug. 29, 1778, which renders the hip joint stiff, and has drawn the joint up in such a manner as to shorten
the right leg about five inches, which renders it difficult for him to travel, the ball remaining in the hip or
thigh, which has occasioned the wound to break out several times, per certificate from Dr. John Gould and
Capt. Aaron Mann, who commanded the guard.” Maj. General Sullivan’s Life Guard, (from
John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Vol 10, p. 166).



The Americans complete their retreat from Aquidneck Island during the night of August 30, 1778. Varnum’s Brigade
assumes a defensive garrison position at Warren and Bristol, Rhode Island for the remainder of the Fall of 1778
to keep watch over the British Force at Newport, Rhode Island. The British at Newport conduct raids on neighboring
towns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    November 1778    Remarks: "Reduced Nov. 30th;" "On Guard" (i.e. on guard duty)
Dated December 4, 1778    Warren (R.I.)

Sgt. John Chillson is court-martialed and reduced in rank to Private on November 30, 1778, probably for
taking unauthorized leave or for insubordination. The Court Martial must have been a Regimental
Court Martial, as John is not listed in the Sullivan Brigade Orderly Book that is in the Rhode Island
Historical Society Library Manuscript Collection which records Brigade Court Martials for the period of
late November 1778. Col. Israel Angell’s diary at the Massachusetts Historical Society Library also does
not mention Sgt. Chillson or give a reason for his court martial, so it was probably a minor offense
(Col. Angell was chairing the court martial).


December 25 - 27, 1778    “The Hessian Snowstorm” The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. is stationed at
Warren, R.I. while one of the worst snowstorms of the 18th Century hits Rhode Island beginning Christmas night.
A few British and Hessian soldiers in Newport, R.I. die from exposure to the storm.


Winter 1779    As a part of Varnum’s Brigade, the Second Rhode Island Regiment continues with garrison
duty in Warren, Rhode Island. With their homes nearby, many of the Rhode Island men are tempted to leave their posts
for unauthorized visits home risking court martial and harsh military discipline. The men are also becoming restless
and mutinous as they have not received pay in several months and food ration supplies are poor and inadequate. The Brigade
Commander, General Varnum, writes a letter in late January 1779 over General Sullivan’s head directly to General Washington
concerning the poor morale of his brigade, indicating political friction between Varnum and Sullivan. Later, during
March 1779, Rhode Island Brigadier General James M. Varnum resigns his Continental Commission. He accepts a Major General
Commission in the Rhode Island State Militia and later serves in the Continental Congress.
Brigadier General John Glover of Marblehead, Massachusetts takes over the command of Varnum’s Brigade.
General John Sullivan is reassigned to the Indian Expedition in New York during March 1779. General Horatio Gates
replaces General Sullivan as commanding officer of all forces in Rhode Island in April 1779.

April 23, 1779    Most of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment mutinies on this day due to the lack of pay
received since the previous summer. They begin a march on Providence but turn back to Warren under the persuasion of
General John Glover. By the end of April, there were a total of three mutinies in Glover’s Brigade (see Letter of
Horatio Gates to George Washington, May 7, 1779). The men of the regiment and brigade are finally paid
in May 1779.

June 2, 1779    The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. marches from Warren to Wickford, R.I. on the western shore
of Narragansett Bay. The Regiment encamps at Barbers Heights [the high ground where the modern
Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge connects to the shore of North Kingstown, R.I.] to keep careful watch of the
British in Newport. The British conduct foraging raids during the summer in the Narragansett Bay area.
The Second Rhode Island Regiment also gets a new brigade commander by the beginning of June 1779, veteran
Brigadier General John Stark from New Hampshire.

August 1779    The British begin removing some of their troops from Newport, R.I.

September 1779    The Second Rhode Island Regiment forms a permanent Light Infantry Company under the
command of Capt. Coggeshall Olney, who would lead the Light Company until the end of 1780.

September 6, 1779    Major General Baron von Steuben inspects the First and Second Rhode Island Regiments
in Rhode Island. The Inspector General of the American Continental Army gives the "Black Regiment" a bad rating while
giving the Second Rhode Island Regiment a good review. See the original returns below [the results of Steuben's Inspection
were first published by John U. Rees, " 'They were good soldiers.': African Americans in the Continental Army, and General
Glover's Soldier-Servants." Military Collector and Historian, Vol. 62, no. 2 (Summer 2010), pp. 139-142].





Return of General Stark's Brigade by Inspector General Baron von Steuben, September 6, 1779, from
NARA Microfilm M246, Returns of Divisions, Brigades, etc.
The top of the return lists Col. Henry Sherburne's Additional Continental Regiment and Col. Samuel B. Webb's
Additional Continental Regiment, while the bottom of the return lists the "Black Regiment" and the
Second Rhode Island Regiment. Note that Col. Samuel B. Webb's Regiment got the best rating, and that
General von Steuben recommended that the "Black Regiment" be replaced in the Continental Line by
Col. John Topham's Rhode Island State Regiment.





Continuation of General Stark's Brigade Inspection listing Col. Henry Jackson's Additional Continental Regiment
and Col. Henry Livingston's Additional Continental Regiment. Note the overall comments of the brigade at the bottom,
from NARA Microfilm M246, Returns of Divisions, Brigades, etc.




October 25, 1779    The British complete the evacuation of Newport. The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. along
with the First Rhode Island Regt. soon occupy the town.

Early November 1779    The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. marches to the winter camp of the American Army at
Morristown, New Jersey, where they are brigaded under General John Stark. The 1st Rhode Island Regt. (“Black Regiment”)
marched with Col. Angell's Regt. into Connecticut, but received counterorders to return to Newport, R.I. and to garrison
the town.

January 15, 1780    The Second Rhode Island Regt. joins a large American detachment and conducts a raid on Staten Island
for supplies. The Regiment has been reduced to 261 men and the condition of their clothing is little better than rags.



Letter from Capt. William Allen to Theodore Foster, Esq.
(Theodore Foster was an attorney in Providence, R.I. and a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly
during the Revolution; the town of Foster, R.I. was named after him.)

Elizabethtown [New Jersey], 19th January 1780

“.......As my time is very short I can give you only some out-lines of an expedition on Staten Island, under
Gen. Lord Sterling.

On the 12th, 13th, and 14th current, General Washington sent large detachments of troops in the neighborhood of
this place under pretence of relieving the troops then in this town. The whole, when formed, was about
twenty-seven hundred. At 4 o’clock in the morning of the 15th, the whole moved on in two columns, one
to cross the Tee at Deharts Point, the other at the Blazing Star, with orders to form a junction on the island.
The whole crossed the Tee without sustaining the least loss. I was in the front division which reached the
enemy’s shore. Just as the day-star appeared the enemy had discovered our advanced guard and retired to a
large stone house enclosed with two lines of abattis (very strong). We found it necessary to wait for the column
which marched by the Blazing Star, and the rear of our own to come up, which was extended an uncommon
length by reason of the deep snow, which obliged us great part of the way to march in files.

Just before sunrise the enemy abandoned the stone house, and left stores to a very considerable amount.
They were all secured by our troops and sent off the island. Our column moved on in the road leading to the
enemy’s right. The other column took its route towards their centre. The enemy, on our near approach, paraded
on an height in front of their works to appearance about three hundred men, with one field piece, which they
fired to their rear to give the alarm. They immediately dispatched boats to the city of New York. Their arrival
was, in a very short time, announced by the discharge of some very heavy cannon from their different forts.
Some scattering muskets were fired on both sides, and ten or twelve prisoners taken by our troops. Night
coming on, picquets were ordered out, and the main body retired into a thick wood to make themselves as
comfortable as the times would admit. Axes and shovels were not wanting to complete this business. At dawn
of day orders came to march, the troops paraded and were conducted off the island. The enemy followed only
with a few light dragoons from which we sustained no loss, nor was there but very few shots exchanged.
The design of this expedition I am at a loss to determine. Great numbers of militia followed in the rear of
the army, who plundered all the inhabitants without distinction of age or sex, those only excepted who were
protected by the Continental troops. Necklaces off the ladies’ necks, buckles from their shoes, shirts from men’s
backs, were taken by those hell-deserving villians.

Fancy to you can better paint the wretched condition of those islanders than I am able to express.

Great quantities of plunder belonging to the inhabitants has been collected, and is to be sent on in a Flag, that
the inhabitants may get their own as far as it will go. This town is guarded at present by a detachment of an
hundred men, commanded by Major Hamilton. We are in some expectation of a visit from the enemy this night, as
retaliation is sweet.

The deep snow, with the exceeding cold weather, froze many of the officers’ and soldiers’ hands and feet while we
were on the island.

Lieut. Colonel Olney, the bearer of this, and who commanded all the advanced picquets on the island, and safely
conducted them from the force of the enemy, will give you a better account of this expedition than I am able to.
A dollar will pass for 2d. only in this part of the country. I hope ‘tis not so bad yet at Rhode Island. Your
known goodness will render an apology unneccessary for this confused letter.

My compliments attend your lady, and am,
Dear Sir, with great esteem,
Your most obedient, humble servant,
William Allen
[Captain, Company Commander, Second Rhode Island Regiment]

(from: “Rhode Island Historical Tracts,” Volume 6, Rhode Island Historical Society, “Revolutionary Correspondence,”
pp. 257 - 259, 1867.)




June 23, 1780      Battle of Springfield, New Jersey. The British and Hessians advance to attack
the American supply depots at Morristown, N.J. The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. with a strength of 160 men
marches to defend a bridge over the Rahway River just east of the village of Springfield, N.J. The
Regiment holds off the much larger British force for 40 minutes before being compelled to retreat.
Capt. Stephen Olney's Company fights first from an orchard then conducts a fighting withdrawal to a hill
top. Capt. Olney receives a musket ball in his left arm. The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. retreats to the
main American line (under the cover of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment) after suffering 25% casualties.
The British burn the village of Springfield and withdraw without capturing the main American supply depots
at Morristown.


Known Rhode Island Casualties from the Battle of Springfield
(Abstracted from the original company muster rolls - - the list of wounded is not complete; approximately
40 men of the Second Rhode Island Regiment were killed or wounded at Springfield)
Again, the State of Rhode Island has erected no monument to their war dead.


Pvt. Cornelius Fish Killed in action June 23, 1780 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Light Infantry Company

Pvt. Noah Chaffee Killed in action June 23, 1780 - - Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Light Infantry Company

Pvt. William Davis Killed in action June 23, 1780 - - The Colonel’s Company, (Capt. Lt. William Littlefield),
Second Rhode Island Regt.

Pvt. Thomas Smith Killed in action June 23, 1780 - - Capt. William Tew’s Company


Pvt. Joseph A. Richards, The Colonel’s Company, (Capt. Lt. William Littlefield), “.....a wound
in the knee in the battle of Springfield, June 23, 1780.” (from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Vol 10, p. 162).

Pvt. Anthony Foster, Capt. William Allen’s Company, “.....a wound in the ankle in the action at
Springfield, June 23, 1780........” (from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations," Vol 10, p. 163).

Pvt. John Slocum “Loss of the left leg, occasioned by a wound received in an action with the British
at Connecticut Farms, in New Jersey, June 7, 1780.” (from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations", Vol 10, p. 164). Technically, John was wounded in an
engagement with the British outside of Elizabethtown, New Jersey on June 7, 1780, prior to the Battle of
Springfield. I have included him in this list because he was an original member of the Second Rhode Island
Regiment, having enlisted in Capt. William Tew’s Company on May 7, 1777. He served on General Washington’s
Life Guard from March 19, 1778 to 1780 and was serving on detached duty from the Personal Guard when
he was wounded (see Carlos E. Godfrey, M.D., “The Commander in Chief’s Guard: Revolutionary War,”
originally published Washington, D.C., 1904, reprinted G.P.C. 1972, pp. 246 - 247). Other Rhode Islanders
served during this June 7 engagement including Jeremiah Greenman (see Greenman’s Journal for a good
description of the June 7, 1780 engagement).


Pvt. Robert Piper, Capt. David Dexter’s Company (Maj. Simeon Thayer), “Disabled in the left
shoulder, by reason of a wound received in an action with the British at Springfield, New Jersey, June 23, 1780.”
(from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Vol 10, p. 165).

Pvt. Richard Hopkins, The Colonel’s Company, (Capt. Lt. William Littlefield), “Lame in the left leg,
occasioned by the leg being broken by a musket ball in the battle of Springfield, New Jersey, June 23, 1780.”
(from John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations", Vol 10, p. 166).

Pvt. Uriah Jones, Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Light Infantry Company. Uriah fought at the
Battle of Springfield, “where he was twice wounded, once by a ball a little below the abdomen and again,
by a ball in the leg” (from Pension File R5752).

Lt. John Morley Greene, Capt. Coggeshall Olney’s Light Infantry Company.   Wounded at Battle of Springfield (from Heitman, p. 260).

Capt. Stephen Olney Wounded in the left arm by a musket ball. Company Commander



Late June 1780    The 2nd Rhode Island Regt. with the American Army marches to Tappan, New York.

July 10, 1780    French General Rochambeau arrives in Newport, Rhode Island with his force of
regular French Army troops.

July 16, 1780    George Washington orders the formation of a Light Infantry Corps from the existing
units in the American Army. Capt. Coggeshall Olney's Light Infantry Company is chosen from the 2nd Rhode Island Regt. to
train with the new Light Infantry Corps, which is placed under the command of Major General Lafayette in August 1780.

September 25, 1780    Maj. General Benedict Arnold's treason at West Point is uncovered by American
troops while General Washington returns from a trip to Hartford, Connecticut to meet with French General Rochambeau.
The Second Rhode Island Regiment is stationed in the West Point area to help guard this strategic point on the Hudson.


Private John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    Present    August and September 1780    Dated October 2, 1780    Camp Orange Town (N.J.)


November 26, 1780    The Light Infantry Companies are returned to their respective regiments for
the winter by orders of General Washington.

January 1, 1781    By order of an Act of the American Congress during October 1780 which reduced
the size of the American Army, the First Rhode Island Regiment (“Black Regiment”) and the Second
Rhode Island Regiment consolidated to become the Rhode Island Regiment under the command
of Col. Christopher Greene. Col. Israel Angell retired in early March.


January 1, 1781    Pvt. John Chillson is promoted back to Sergeant in the Light Infantry Company
of the soon consolidated Rhode Island Regiment (Rhode Island State Archives, Revolutionary War Transcription
File Index; also Regimental Book, R.I.R., p. 57). He would remain a Sergeant for the remainder of the war.


NARA Roll #861    John Chillson    (Records of R.I. 1st & 2nd Regts. Consolidated [Rhode Island Regiment] January 1782 - June 8, 1783)

John Chillson, signed name to clothing receipt roll of Daniel S. Dexter, Pay Master, Rhode Island Regt. February 17, 1781 (see shoe receipt roll below)


February 17, 1781    Col. Christopher Greene and Col. Israel Angell arrive in New York from
Rhode Island with Greene assuming command of the Rhode Island Regiment. Col. Greene is killed during an early
morning attack on a small detachment of the Rhode Island Regiment during May 14, 1781 by Delancy's Loyalist Battalion
near Pines Bridge at the Croton River in New York. Lt. Col. Jeremiah Olney assumes command of the Rhode Island Regiment,
which is sometimes called “Olney's Battalion,” for the remainder of the war.

February 20, 1781    George Washington orders Lafayette and his reformed Light Infantry Division south
to Virginia to deal with British Forces operating in Virginia. Capt. Stephen Olney is given command of the Light
Infantry Company of the old 2nd Rhode Island Regiment. The Light Company joins Lafayette's command
and marches south with the Light Infantry Brigade. Olney's Company joins the Regiment (Battalion) commanded
by Lafayette's aide, Lt. Col. Jean-Joseph Sourbader de Gimat, who would lead the Regiment (Battalion)
through the Virginia and Yorktown Campaigns.





The Rhode Island Light Company marches south: On February 17, 1781, these men of the Second Rhode
Island Regiment received shoes from Daniel S. Dexter, the Paymaster of the newly
consolidated Rhode Island Regiment. Note that the majority of these men would be
joining Gimat’s Battalion in Lafayette’s Light Infantry Brigade. Lt. Joseph Wheaton,
who marched south with the Light Infantry Company, acted as a witness for this shoe
receipt roll. John Chillson (Chilson), Samuel Geer (Gear), Benjamin Bickford, Joseph T. Brown,
and Hosea Crandal (Crandall), who all served in the Virginia and Yorktown campaigns
later in the year, signed their names to this list. Of these five men, Chillson, Bickford,
Brown, and Crandall would serve as sergeants of the Light Infantry Company of the Rhode Island
Regiment from 1781 to 1783. Compare the names on this list to my web page link below
on additional historical information on the men of the R.I. Light Infantry company. Image
from U.S. National Archives Microfilm M246, "Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783"
(Original Muster Rolls), Roll # 88, Miscellaneous Records, 2nd Rhode Island Regt./
Rhode Island Regiment, courtesy of the U.S. National Archives.




March 3, 1781    Lafayette's Brigade arrives at Head of Elk (Elkton), Maryland. The brigade marches and sails
to Annapolis, Maryland later in March. The supporting French Fleet are beaten back by the British at the mouth
of the Chesapeake Bay in the First Battle of the Virginia Capes on March 16, 1781. Lafayette begins a retreat
north back to Washington's Army. Capt. Stephen Olney requests a furlough for himself which is granted by
Lafayette. Capt. Olney departs for Rhode Island while the rest of his company remains with Lafayette’s command.





Annapolis Continental Light Infantry Encampment Site
State of Maryland Historical Sign for Lafayette's American Light Infantry encampment
site in modern Eastport, Maryland just south of Annapolis. In 1781, this area was
farmland. Today it is highly developed with waterfront properties. The American
Light Infantry actually sailed back to Head of Elk, Maryland in early April 1781
before marching south for Richmond, Virginia.





November 2016 view from the United States Naval Academy to the mouth of
Annapolis Harbor (Spa Creek, which was known as "Carrol's Creek" in 1781).
The land on the far side of the harbor is modern day Eastport which
Lafayette's Brigade encamped on. The Naval Academy is open to the public
and has many interesting historic monuments and an excellent Naval History
museum at Preble Hall.





November 2016 view from southern historic Annapolis across modern
Spa Creek to Lafayette's encampment site in Eastport, Maryland
(Anne Arundel County).





November 2016 view of the Maryland State House on the large hill
in the center of Annapolis, Maryland. This state house was present
in March 1781 while Lafayette's Light Infantry Brigade debarked to
their encampment site. Annapolis has a few other buildings from the
18th Century that still stand. The view down Cornhill Street from
the state house to the waterfront is quite spectacular.





November 2016 view of William Paca House in Annapolis which was built
in the 1760s. William Paca was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Annapolis is a great town to walk around in and explore the historic
buildings and sites.




April 8, 1781    After arriving back at Head of Elk, Maryland, Lafayette receives counterorders from Washington
to head south again in support of General Nathanael Greene. Several men of the Rhode Island Company have
reservations about travelling south away from their homes. Lafayette in a letter to General Washington from the
Susquehannah Ferry (near Perryville, Maryland) dated April 14, 1781 writes, ".....While I was writing these accounts have
been brought to me, that, a great desertion had taken place last night: nine of the Rhode Island company, and the best
men they had, who have made many campaigns, and never were suspected, these men say they like better a hundred lashes
than a journey to the south-ward. As long as they had an expedition in view they were very well satisfied, but the idea
of remaining in the southern states appear to them intolerable, and they are amazingly averse to the people and climate.
I shall do my best, but if this disposition lasts I am afraid we will be reduced lower than I dare express....." (Memoirs,
Correspondence and Manuscripts of General Lafayette, published by his Family, 1837, available on website:
http://www.fullbooks.com/Memoirs-Correspondence-and-Manuscripts-of1.html ; see also Library of Congress’
“Papers of George Washington” website). These 9 Rhode Island men did not return to Gimat's Battalion, as the original
58 man Light Infantry Company of the Rhode Island Regiment was reduced to 40 men by July 1781 (see my web link below on
the Light Infantry Company).


April 17, 1781    Lafayette's Brigade arrives in Baltimore, Maryland. British forces under Generals Phillips
and Arnold and Col. Simcoe begin their raids up the James River of Virginia. In a letter to General Washington from
Baltimore dated April 18, 1781, Lafayette writes, ".....On my arrival on this side of the Susquehannah, I made an order
for the troops, wherein I endeavoured to throw a kind of infamy upon desertion, and to improve every particular affection
of theirs. Since then, desertion has been lessened. Two deserters have been taken up; one of whom has been hanged to-day,
and the other (being an excellent soldier) will be forgiven, but dismissed from the corps, as well as another soldier who
behaved amiss. To these measures, I have added one which my feelings for the sufferings of the soldiers, and the
peculiarity of their circumstances, have prompted me to adopt."

"The merchants of Baltimore lent me a sum of about 2,000 l , which will procure some shirts, linen, overalls, shoes, and
a few hats. The ladies will make up the shirts, and the overalls will be made by the detachment, so that our soldiers
have a chance of being a little more comfortable. The money is lent upon my credit, and I become security for the payment
of it in two years' time, when, by the French laws, I may better dispose of my estate. But before that time, I shall use
my influence with the French court, in order to have this sum of money added to any loan congress may have been able
to obtain from them ......" (Memoirs, Correspondence and Manuscripts of General Lafayette, published by his
Family, 1837, available on website: http://www.fullbooks.com/Memoirs-Correspondence-and-Manuscripts-of1.html ).





State of Maryland Historic Sign for Elk Ridge Landing in Elkridge,
Maryland (Howard County). After crossing the Patapsco River, the
American Continental Light Infantry Brigade camped here April 18 to
19, 1781.





One of the oldest surviving buildings in Elkridge, Maryland is
the Elkridge Furnace Inn which Lafayette's Brigade passed on
their way to the encampment site. The inn is on Patapsco
River State Park land.





April 18, 1781 Tragedy on the Patapsco River
November 2016 view of the Patapsco River behind the Elkridge
Furnace Inn. In 1781, the Patapsco River was much wider and
deeper than it is today. On April 18, 1781, while a part of
Lafayette's Detachment was crossing the river, one of the boats
capsized and sunk drowning some men of Gimat's Battalion. An
officer's account reported nine men dying, while an enlisted man
stated that seven men died. I have identified FIVE Continental
soldiers from Connecticut who died from the April 18, 1781 event.
I am attempting to get a monument erected near the Elkridge Furnace
Inn in their honor.




April 25, 1781    Lafayette arrives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The British win the Battle of
Petersburg over militia forces under General Von Steuben.

April 29, 1781    Lafayette's Brigade arrives in Richmond, Virginia. The British arrive on the
opposite (south) shore of the James River, but retreat down river to Jamestown. Lafayette follows these units
on the north side of the James River.

May 7, 1781    British General Phillips is ordered by Lord Cornwallis to meet him at Petersburg,
Virginia. Lafayette follows the British forces to Petersburg, then retreats to the Richmond area.

May 13, 1781    British General Phillips dies of a fever. Benedict Arnold assumes command of the
British forces in Virginia. On May 20, Cornwallis' army joins with Arnold's forces at Petersburg.

May 24, 1781    With a superior force, Cornwallis marches aggressively northward chasing after
Lafayette who retreats north to the Rapidan River west of Fredericksburg, VA by June 4. Cornwallis launches
raids against Charlottesville and Point of Fork, Virginia in early June 1781.

June 10, 1781    General Anthony Wayne reaches Lafayette's Brigade with an additional brigade of
800 Continentals at Brock's Bridge on the North Anna River.

June 12, 1781    With an enlarged force, Lafayette shifts his Division to a position just north of
Charlottesville, VA at Mechunk Creek. The British decide to retreat to the southeast. Cornwallis withdraws to
Richmond by June 18.

June 25, 1781    Cornwallis moves his army to Williamsburg. The Americans follow the British and
establish a camp at Tyree's Plantation northwest of Williamsburg.

July 4, 1781    Cornwallis decides to move his army to Portsmouth where he will rendezvous with
the British Navy to detach some of his men to New York. He will have to cross the James River at Jamestown.
Cornwallis plans a trap for Lafayette's Division by faking the crossing of the James River with a few of his
forces while the majority of his army hides in the woods at Green Spring Plantation just northwest of Jamestown
and the ferry.

July 6, 1781      Battle of Green Spring, Virginia. The aggressive Lafayette takes the bait and orders
an attack on the "rear guard" of the British Army by General Anthony Wayne's troops. Lafayette conducts a
personal reconnaisance on the British positions just before the attack is to begin. He discovers that a much
larger British force is awaiting Wayne's attack. Unable to warn General Wayne in time, Lafayette quickly
deploys two battalions of his Light Infantry in a line behind Wayne to support his inevitable retreat.
The Pennsylvania Continentals are aligned from the left flank to the center of Wayne's force of 1,000 men.
Gimat’s Light Infantry Battalion with the Rhode Island Light Company (about 40 men) covers the right flank of
Wayne’s force. The two remaining Light Infantry Battalions sent by Lafayette are commanded by
Col. Joseph Vose and Col. Barber. As Wayne’s line of battle crosses the marsh to the woods near the
James River, the British march out of the woods in line of battle. The New England veterans of Gimat’s Battalion
must have seen an ominous and disturbing sight as 5,000 British regulars advanced in a double line that overlapped
the American line on both flanks by a considerable margin. General Anthony Wayne knew immediately that he
was in serious trouble as he was outnumbered by nearly 5 to 1.

As the engagement commenced, Wayne’s left flank quickly crumbled. The New Englanders of Gimat’s Battalion
exchanged volleys with the advancing British and stood firm for several minutes before being compelled to retreat by
overwhelming numbers. With a potential disaster on his hands, "Mad Anthony" Wayne orders a counterattack by the
Pennsylvania Continentals of his center which effectively blunts the British attack and buys time to withdraw the
majority of his men back to Lafayette's new defensive line. The battle ended late in the evening when the British
realized that the Americans were in a strong defensive position. The British cross the James River and head to
Portsmouth, VA. Several of the Rhode Islanders in Capt. Olney’s Company who applied for pension files after the
war mentioned the Battle of Green Spring in their affidavits, so it must have been a fairly scrappy fight for these
New England veterans of many battles.





Commonwealth of Virginia Historic Marker for Battle of Green Spring.
The current site of the battlefield is a mix of farmland and housing developments
just northwest of the Jamestown historic sites.




The 225th Anniversary of the Battle of Green Spring, Viriginia was reenacted in July 2006. The following pictures were
taken at the reenactment.





Crown Forces Encampment at the Battle of Green Spring, VA reenactment, July 2006.





Encampment area of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Regiment with a field leanto.





Crown Forces march to the battle reenactment.





Headquarters Tents of the American Light Infantry Division Encampment (Maj. Gen. Lafayette commanding)





A field shelter built by New England and Pennsylvanian Light Infantry soldiers to keep cool during the hot
and humid summer day in Virginia. These type of shelters were used by the original soldiers.





A field shelter under construction by Pennsylvania (Wayne’s Brigade) Light Infantry soldiers.





American Corps of Sappers and Miners soldiers constructing a field kitchen.




Some modern African American reenactors participated as Rhode Island Regiment soldiers at the 2006 reenactment,
but there is no historical evidence that any of the Rhode Island Regiment Light Infantry Company soldiers at the
Battle of Green Springs in 1781 were men of color. Most of the R.I.R. Light Company soldiers were white veterans
of Colonel Israel Angell's Second Rhode Island Regiment. The "Black Regiment" never had a Light Infantry company
during its existence.





The reenacted American Light Infantry Division parades before marching to the battle reenactment.





This platoon of men is representing Gimat’s Battalion of the American Light Infantry Division at the reenactment.
The original Gimat’s Battalion was about 400 to 500 men strong from the following units:
9th Massachusetts Regiment Light Infantry Company, 10th Massachusetts Regiment Light Infantry Company,
1st Connecticut Regiment Light Infantry Company, 2nd Connecticut Regiment Light Infantry Company,
3rd Connecticut Regiment Light Infantry Company, 4th Connecticut Regiment Light Infantry Company,
5th Connecticut Regiment Light Infantry Company, and the Rhode Island Regiment Light Infantry Company.
The soldiers in this picture are accurately dressed except for their headgear. Most of the men of Gimat’s
Battalion would have had the distinct light infantry helmet/cap with red and black feather (which some of these
men are correctly wearing) that distinguished the Corps of Light Infantry, which was considered an elite unit
in the American Army. General Lafayette had a high regard and pride for the men of his Light Infantry Division.





Gimat’s Battalion marches off to the battlefield. In the battle, Gimat’s Battalion covered the right flank of the
first American battle line. They exchanged volleys with the much larger British force and conducted a fighting
withdrawal. Most of the soldiers in the Rhode Island Company were probably remembering the Battle of Springfield, N.J.
the year before.





Wayne’s Brigade of Pennsylvania Light Infantry marches to the battlefield.





Wayne’s Brigade of Pennyslvania Light Infantry engages the Crown Forces.








July 20, 1781    Cornwallis and his army reach Portsmouth, Virginia. The British Commander-in-Chief
in New York, Sir Henry Clinton, orders Cornwallis to take up a defensive fortified position either at
Old Point Comfort east of Hampton, Virginia or at Yorktown. Lafayette sets up a camp at Malvern Hill on
the James River and orders General Wayne to screen the British Army's movements. Capt. Stephen Olney
returns from furlough in R.I. and rejoins his light infantry company on July 28, 1781 (Journal of Ebenezer Wild).






Commonwealth of Virginia Historic Marker for Malvern Hill Manor House.





Present view of Lafayette's camp at Malvern Hill. The Manor House sat on the hill behind the pine tree
on the left in the background (hilltop obscured by trees). Lafayette's Division camped on the open fields
around the Manor House.




(“John Chilson,” [signed name to pay receipt roll] Camp at Malvern's Hill (VA)    Co. Muster Roll (Pay Receipt Roll)    Capt. Olney's Co.    Dated July 31, 1781;
the original roll is in Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts Collection)


August 1, 1781    The British occupy Yorktown, Virginia due to the deep water access there for the British Navy.
Lafayette suspects a British thrust towards Baltimore, but the British stay put in Yorktown. Unsure of the British
plans, Lafayette maneuvers part of his army to a position well northwest of Yorktown at Montock Hill on the Pamunkey
River on August 6. On August 14, 1781, General Washington decides to conduct a combined Franco-American operation
with French General Rochambeau against Cornwallis at Yorktown with the cooperation of the French Fleet under
Admiral De Grasse.

August 19, 1781    American and French Armies leave the New York area for Yorktown.

September 5 - 6, 1781      The Second Battle of the Virginia Capes. The French Fleet under
Admiral De Grasse successfully defends the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay from the British Fleet under
Admiral Graves. Cornwallis remains trapped and surrounded by Allied Land and Naval Forces.

September 20, 1781    The American and French Armies from New York begin to arrive at Williamsburg, Virginia.
By September 26, all of the Allied Forces are at Williamsburg.

September 28, 1781    The Allied Army begins the siege of Yorktown.

October 6, 1781    The Allied Army begins digging the first siege parallel to the British fortifications around
Yorktown. The men of the Light Infantry Division occupy the trenches and help dig and construct the earthworks for one
day beginning at noon on October 7, 1781. American Division units occupying and building the trenches were relieved
after 24 hours of work.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
The Grand French Battery was constructed as part of the First Allied Siege Line beginning October 6, 1781.




October 9, 1781    The Allied Army commences a continuous artillery bombardment on the
British lines. Lafayette's Light Infantry Division occupies the trenches again for 24 hours at noon on
October 10, 1781.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign and earthworks reconstruction, Yorktown Battlefield,
Colonial National Historical Park
After the earthworks were constructed, the French Army transported several heavy artillery pieces from
their artillery park to the Grand French Battery. This battery opened fire on October 9, 1781 on the British lines.




October 12, 1781    The second siege parallel is started by the French and Americans.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
After two days of continuous artillery bombardment by the Allies, work began on the Second Allied Siege Line.
The illustration to the right shows the hard excavating work required by the division occupying the trenches
for 24 hours. The illustration to the bottom shows gabions (earth-filled baskets) and fascines (bundles of thick
sticks) used to protect the troops digging the trenches.





View of British Redoubt 9 from the second allied siege parallel at Yorktown Battlefield
As the allies advanced their second siege line to the east, the British outer earthworks Redoubts 9 & 10 blocked their
progress. General Washington decided that the redoubts should be captured by an infantry assault. He chose
General Lafayette’s American Light Infantry Division to attack Redoubt 10 and a detachment of French chasseurs and
grenadiers under French General Viomesnil to attack Redoubt 9.




October 14, 1781    Attack on Redoubt # 10. Capt. Stephen Olney's Company is the lead unit in a night
time attack by the American Light Infantry Division on British Redoubt Number 10. The American attack is personally
led by Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton with Capt. Olney's Company at the head of Gimat's Battalion. The Americans have been
ordered to attack with unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets, but some of the men disobey orders and load their muskets
when they reach the abattis surrounding the redoubt. Capt. Olney, who is armed only with a pike, receives several
bayonet wounds as he mounts the redoubt parapet but heroically leads his Rhode Island Light Infantry Company into the
Redoubt and captures it from the British. The French troops capture nearby Redoubt Number 9 later in the night after
severe fighting. The successful capture of the British redoubts allows the Allies to complete the second siege parallel.
Capt. Olney received a serious wound to the abdomen and was thought mortally wounded, but he recovers in the American
hospital at Williamsburg and rejoins the Light Infantry Division three weeks after the attack on Redoubt Number 10.
Lt. Col. Gimat was also wounded in the attack.







Engraved portrait of Capt. Stephen Olney (late in life) of North Providence, R.I.
Portrait from James H. Olney "A Genealogy of the descendants of
Thomas Olney: an original proprietor of Providence, R.I., who
came from England in 1635," Providence, R.I., Freeman & Son, 1889, p. 43.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
The illustration shows the American Light Infantry Division assault into Redoubt 10. The first American troops
into the redoubt were Rhode Islanders from Capt. Stephen Olney’s Light Company.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
Map of the attack on Redoubts 9 and 10 on the night of October 14, 1781 (from N.P.S. interpretive sign).
After the attacks, the Allies completed their second siege line all the way to the York River and incorporated
the captured redoubts as part of their line. A Grand American Battery was constructed between captured
Redoubts 9 and 10.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
A couple of historic facts are incorrect on this N.P.S. sign, and “political correctness” in favor of the
“Black Regiment,” or the First Rhode Island Regiment appears to be the culprit. The “Black Regiment” has
gotten a lot of press recently in these “P.C.” times of ours (for example, see several articles in the
“Providence Journal” newspaper), and a lot of articles and websites make some rather blatant errors in their
historical reporting with regards to the Rhode Island Continental Regiments. In my opinion, it is impossible
to be accurate with the historic facts without mentioning the histories of BOTH the First and Second
Rhode Island Regiments. With much of the current press coverage of the “Black Regiment,” the
Second Rhode Island Regiment is all but ignored in the reporting. So let’s get our facts straight! Remember,
the “Black Regiment” was formed in May of 1778 when the two original (predominantly white)
First and Second Rhode Island Regiments were combined into the “new” Second Rhode Island Regiment.
Most of the enlisted men of the original First Rhode Island Regiment filled out the depleted ranks of the original
Second Rhode Island Regiment, while most of the officers of the original First Rhode Island Regiment led by the
intrepid Col. Christopher Greene went back to Rhode Island in January 1778 to recruit and train the “new” First
Rhode Island Regiment (“The Black Regiment”). Let us remember that while the majority of the “Black Regiment” was being
recruited and trained in R.I. in early 1778, the Second Rhode Island Regiment was surviving the horrors of
Valley Forge and was at the same time being toughened by the drilling of Baron von Steuben.
In June 1778, the Second Rhode Island Regiment fought at the Battle of Monmouth, which was one
of the largest land battles in North American history to that date. In August 1778, the “Black Regiment”
was exposed to combat for the first time as a complete unit at the Battle of Rhode Island, and the black soldiers were
forced to retreat during the battle (but were later saved and reenforced by the Second Rhode Island Regiment under Col.
Israel Angell, whose timely charge at the Battle of Rhode Island is often neglected by certain “P.C.” revisionist historians).
After the Battle of Rhode Island, the “Black Regiment” would remain on guard duty in Rhode Island until January 1781.
Let us remember that the Second Rhode Island Regiment returned to Washington’s Grand Army in November 1779
and spent the winter at Morristown, an experience only slightly more enjoyable than Valley Forge (in fact,
most historians state that the Winter of 1779-1780 was the worst of the war). In 1780, the Second Rhode Island
Regiment participated in the raid on Staten Island, and it was battered by the British at the Battle of Springfield,
New Jersey. Clearly, the more battle-tested regiment was the Second Rhode Island Regiment.
In February 1781, the “Black Regiment” and the Second Rhode Island Regiment were combined to form
the “Rhode Island Regiment.” The Light Infantry Company of the SECOND Rhode Island Regiment, which trained
with Lafayette’s Light Infantry Division in the Fall of 1780, was at the time of the formation of the
“Rhode Island Regiment” sent south with Lafayette’s command to Virginia. So, two facts are incorrect on this
N.P.S. sign: Capt. Stephen Olney NEVER served with the First Rhode Island Regiment, AND the Light Infantry
Company of the First Rhode Island Regiment did NOT participate in the assault on Redoubt 10 (in fact, I
have found ZERO evidence that the “Black Regiment” ever had a separate light infantry company since this
regiment was always understrength and only had four to five regular infantry companies).
At the commencement of the Yorktown siege, the black troops of the First Rhode Island Regiment were with
the “Rhode Island Regiment” (also known as “Olney’s Battalion”) under the command of Lt. Col. Jeremiah Olney.
Capt. Stephen Olney’s Light Infantry Company of the SECOND Rhode Island Regiment did participate in the assault
on Redoubt 10. These 40 men of Olney’s Company were mostly from the original 1777 First and Second Rhode Island
Regiments, and were predominantly, if not entirely, white (see my link below for historical research that I have done
on these 40 men). Hopefully, the N.P.S. will do some accurate research, correct their mistakes, and put up an
interpretive sign for the INTEGRATED Rhode Island Regiment, which served diligently on the front lines at
Yorktown in 1781.





View of the remnant of Redoubt 10 on the bluff of the York River, Yorktown Battlefield
The National Park Service located the remains of Redoubt 10 in 1956 and reconstructed about 15% of the redoubt
on its original location. Due to over 200 years of erosion, the York River has steadily carried away the extreme
left flank of the British earthworks at Yorktown. Unfortunately, the small remnant of Redoubt 10 that is visible in
this picture is all that remains, and it will likely succumb to the steep cliff at its back sometime in the next 50 years.





Commemorative Marker for Gimat’s Battalion, Lafayette’s American Light Infantry Division, Yorktown Battlefield
Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton of New York was the commanding officer of the American Light Infantry Division assault force,
which was made up mostly of men from Gimat’s Battalion. Captain Stephen Olney’s Company was at the front
of the assault column.




To view a painting of the attack on Redoubt 10, click here.







For additional historical information about the men of Capt. Stephen Olney's Company, click here.








View of British Redoubt 9, Yorktown Battlefield
French General Viomesnil commanded the French Army force who assaulted Redoubt 9 while the Americans
were attacking Redoubt 10. The French force was comprised of the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment of Zweibrucken, Germany
and the Gatenais Regiment of France. With the mixture of German and French units on both sides, the close-quarter fighting
in Redoubt 9 was savage as friendly units blundered into each other and used the bayonet freely. After an hour of fighting, the
French Army force was successful in capturing Redoubt 9, although casualties were high.





View from British Redoubt 9 to Redoubt 10, Yorktown Battlefield
The earthworks to the right are part of the Second Allied Siege Line that was completed with the successful capture of the
two British Redoubts on the night of October 14, 1781. These earthworks lead out to the remnant of Redoubt 10 on the bluff
of the York River which is barely visible in the treeline in this picture.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
The Grand American Battery was constructed between Redoubts 9 and 10, and the Americans opened fire
from this battery on October 17, 1781. The British asked for surrender terms shortly thereafter.





View from inside the Grand American Battery, Yorktown Battlefield
The British Inner Line earthworks and the N.P.S. Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center are visible in the background.




October 17, 1781    After a desperate breakout attempt across the York River to Gloucester Point fails,
the British decide to ask for negotiations for surrender.

October 19, 1781    The British surrender to the Allied Army.




U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
General Lafayette had his headquarters tent near his American Light Infantry Division encampment. Visitors to
the Yorktown Battlefield can view this area along the N.P.S. Driving Tour.





U.S. National Park Service Interpretive Sign, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park
This view shows the encampment area of the American Light Infantry Division, which included the Rhode Island Regiment
Light Company. The soldiers of the American Light Infantry would rest and drill in this relatively safe rear
area when they were not taking their turn in the trenches of the American front line. Visitors to the Yorktown
Battlefield can view this area along the N.P.S. Driving Tour. The main Rhode Island Regiment (Olney’s Battalion)
was part of the New Jersey Brigade and camped with that brigade at Yorktown.






This old road is a remnant of the road that the British Army marched on to surrender to the Allied Army in the
field to the left. The American Army and French Army were lined up on both sides of this road facing each other
during the British march.




December 1781    Lt. Col. Jeremiah Olney's Rhode Island Regiment with Capt. Stephen Olney's Light Infantry
Company sails from Yorktown up the Chesapeake Bay to Head of Elk (Elkton), Maryland. From Head of Elk,
the regiment marches to Philadelphia, where it establishes winter quarters. The men suffer from
disease and illness while at Philadelphia, and several men of the Rhode Island Regiment died.



Letter from Capt. William Allen to Theodore Foster, Esq.


Philadelphia, December 15, 1781

Dear Sir:

I take the liberty to acquaint you that the Rhode Island regt., after a passage of twenty-one days, arrived safe at the
Head of Elk, from York, in Virginia, and on the 12th inst. by short marches reached this place with part of the reg’t.
I am not master of the language sufficient to paint the horrid situation we were in. Great part of the time, on our
passage, we had water for about ten days only; we had twice the number of men on board to be in the smallest
degree comfortable; we had several breaking out with the small pox, whilst others were shuddering for fear of
taking it the natural way. Great numbers of the soldiers were hourly taken sick in a manner so uncommon
that the surgeons were unable to tell the disease, much less to afford them relief. However, we lost but
two on the passage, but since landing twelve or thirteen have died, and numbers more must share the same fate,
though they are tenderly taken care of, and everything provided for their comfort that a hospital can afford.
Col. Olney will be able to give you the particulars of our unhappy passage.......

Permit me, Sir, to congratulate you on the late happy success of our arms, and the splendid prospect of an
honorable and lasting peace, with liberty unimpaired. Now is the time to exert every nerve, and show a good
front to the enemy. No expense should be spared to complete our armies and pay off those virtuous men who
have braved every danger to serve their country, notwithstanding they have more than a year’s pay due and
suffering for want of it.

I shall do myself the pleasure to pay you a visit between this and April next, if Congress are kind enough to pay us
some cash before that time. I will thank you to present my compliments to your lady and love to Miss Theodosia, and
believe me as I really am wanting in words to express the obligations I feel myself under, for your repeated acts of
kindness and unbounded generosity to me. I should be glad to hear from you the first opportunity, for I have not
had the honor of a line from you since I left Providence, nor from but few of my other friends.

I have the honor to be, Sir, with sentiments of esteem,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
William Allen
[Captain, Company Commander, Rhode Island Regiment]

(from: “Rhode Island Historical Tracts,” Volume 6, Rhode Island Historical Society, “Revolutionary Correspondence,”
pp. 290 - 291, 1867.)







Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Roll    January 1782    Present    Dated February 18, 1782    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


March 1782    Capt. Stephen Olney resigns from the Rhode Island Regiment and returns to
Rhode Island. Capt. William Allen assumes command of the Light Infantry Company. At the end of
May 1782, the Battalion marches for Peekskill, New York, where they enter the American front lines
around the British Army in New York City.

Autumn 1782    The Battalion is transported to Albany on boats; it then marches to Saratoga
and establishes winter quarters there.

Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Rolls    November & December 1782    Present    Dated December 20, 1782    Light Infantry Company, R.I.R.




February 1783    Expedition against Fort Ontario (Oswego), New York.
In the Spring of 1782 on the shores of Lake Ontario, the British rebuild the ruined Fort Ontario, which the Americans
burned in 1778. By the early Winter of 1783, General Washington authorizes another American expedition to attack
and destroy the fort. The expedition is put under the command of Colonel Marinus Willett, who was a leader of the
Sons of Liberty in New York City at the start of the Revolution. The integrated Rhode Island Regiment
is chosen by Washington to assist with the attack. A detachment of the Regiment (I have evidence that elements of
six companies of the Rhode Island Regiment served in the expedition, or about 200 men) marches to Fort Herkimer
in the Mohawk Valley with a similar-sized detachment of New York State Troops. From Fort Herkimer, the
battalion of Rhode Island Continentals and New York State soldiers marches west past Fort Stanwix into wilderness
through the deep snows of winter. They cross over frozen rivers and Lake Oneida to a staging area within a few
miles of the fort. The suprise attack is to begin in the early morning hours of February 13 after the moon sets.
During the night of February 12, the battalion begins the final march on Fort Ontario. They are led by an
Oneida Indian guide and a couple of local guides who promptly get lost and lead the Americans into a swamp.
Near daybreak, Col. Willett still has not found Fort Oswego, and there is not enough darkness left to conceal
the attack. Col. Willett, under strict orders from General Washington not to attack unless the element of
surprise was available, cancels the attack and orders a retreat back down the Mohawk Valley. The Rhode Island
Regiment Detachment begins a forced march back to safety through horrendous weather and with dwindling supplies.
Over 130 men from the battalion suffer from frostbite, with some cases severe. One of the black soldiers
of the Rhode Island Regiment and one New York State soldier, both of whom had fallen out of the line of march,
were later found frozen to death.




ORDER OF MARCH - - RHODE ISLAND REGIMENT, FEBRUARY 1783


Capt. John Holden, Commander of the R.I.R. Detachment


Light Infantry Company (Capt. William Allen)

Second Company (Capt. John Holden)

Fourth Company (Capt. Zephaniah Brown)

Sixth Company (Capt. Ebenezer Macomber)

Seventh Company (Capt. David Sayles)

Eighth Company (Capt. Benjamin Peckham)






Letter from Marinus Willett to George Washington

(transcribed from Library of Congress website:
http://memory.loc.gov/mss/mgw/mgw4/090/0500/0583.jpg )

“Fort Herkimer, February 19, 1783

Sir:

It is no small mortification to me to have occasion to report to your Excellency that our expedition to Oswego
has not been successful. Nothing could have been more pleasing then our prospect was when we was within
four or five miles of Oswego between ten and eleven oclock on the night of the twelth instant with every
thing ready to make the attack. But our expectations were blasted by a very unexpected event. An event
that I had no reason to form any apprehensions of considering the pains I had taken to prevent such a
contigency from taking place. The caution your Excellency had given me respecting guides had made me
doubly carefull in procuring such as I conceived would most assuredly preserve me from danger for want of
good pilots. I had provided myself with four persons who deserted from Oswego since the beginning of last
August. I had several men with me who were well acquainted with Oswego and were otherways Intelligent
and smart. Besides which I took with me three Oneida Indians all of high estimation with respect to their
fidelity, and one in particular called Captain John who has a commission from Congress whose behaviour
has been uniform and upright in all the changes of our affairs and is a very expert Indian. Yet, notwithstanding
this it was my guide that (undid?) me. On my arrival at the west end of Oneida Lake I found the sleighs
to be an Incumbrance and that they increased the danger of my being discovered for this reason it was
determined to leave them at that place and march the remainder of the way on foot through the woods.
And in a little better than a days march we got below Oswego Falls (which falls are twelve miles from Oswego).
Not far from that place I ventered to have our ladders made, and at eight o’clock in the evening we left the
woods and went on the ice three miles below the Falls. We proceeded cautiously on the ice untill we arrived
at a point about four miles from Oswego. Here the ice failing we were obliged to go on shore and enter the
woods. The guides had uniformly submitted their Judgement the whole of the march to the superior skill of
Captain John and he still continued to go on in front marking our rout. Thus far he had led us well and he now
told me he would bring us by midnight in to a road made to hawl wood to the Fort not more than two miles
from that place and that it was not more than two miles to that road so that our whole march was not to
exceed four miles and it was not then quite eleven o’clock. This information produced fresh ardor in every
breast every countenance was brightened and the ladders which in any other case would have been an Intolerable
Incumbrance moved lightly through the woods deep snow high hills and deep marshes were passed with a
briskness and cheerfulness that was truly pleasing. Untill after following him for near three hours without
observing any signs of the Fort, and by our zig zag movements it appeared clear that our course was not right.
I was considerably advanced in front following close after the guide on snow shoes when the suspicions entered
fully into my mind both from the Irregularity of his course as well as the length of time we had been marching
without arriving at the Fort. In declaring my suspicions to my guides they all appeared Intirely lost. In this
situation I was compelled to halt the troops while I endeavoured myself and sent others likewise in different
routs to endeavour to find the way to the Fort. But it became all in vain. The moon had sett and the day was
dawning when I was out with two of the best hands I had endeavouring to discover our way without effecting
it. Thus were our expectations which but a few hours before were raised to the highest pitch from a (position?)
that we were almost in sight of the Fort in the most silent hours of the night without being Discovered, blasted by
the unacountable conduct of our guide......Surmises were made that Captain John the Indian led us wrong
designedly. This however is a surmise that I cant give into. His former Conduct has been regular and good and
I had given him such expectations in case of success as will not admit of the supposition of his useing willfully
measure(s) to disapoint us.......I am inclined to think that the cause of his losing the way was this, from after he
left the Ice he came on a snow shoe track which track he followed a considerable way supposing it would lead
to the Fort. And that after finding he had been led into an error and wasted much time he got himself bewildered.
His behaviour however had a bad appearance which occasioned my ordering him under guard together with the
other two Indians his companions.

As long as there was a prospect of affecting the business of the expedition, no troops could exhibit a more cheerful
fortitude under the severest Toil then the whole of the officers and soldiers did. But as that prospect vanished
with the approaching Day their great fatigue got the better of the Spirits of the soldiers; and as we could have
no right to hope to remain undiscovered through the day If your Excellency had not previously admonished
me that if we did not succeed by surprise the attempt would be unwarrantable I should now have been
Convinced of it........This therefore being the case a disposition was made to retire which considering the amazing
fatigue of the troops and that many of them were badly frosted was accomplished in quite as good order as
could be expected.

One of Colonel Olneys Black Soldiers and one of our state troops by leaving their ranks in the night and Lying
down in the snow got frozed to death.......The lamness of a number of the Soldiers made the (wait?) the
(Leaving?) and it is much owing to the violent Exertions of Major Van (Benvekaten)? who had charge of our
state troops and Captain Holden who commanded the Rhode Island Detachment that I was enabled in the
first Instance to overcome the variety of difficulties that turned up on our march out as well as in our return
to the sleighs with such a number of lame men.

On our return to the river several small parties of the enemy made their appearance on the opposite shore and
some few miles higher up. (Three?) Seneca Indians came to us with professions of friendship as they
(pray?) themselves in our power and made a friendly appearance I did not think it proper to do any thing with
them But suffered them to stand and see the troops march by at a distance and bid them farewell.

Thus Sir, I have reported to your Excellency the progress and unfortunate finish of this business. A business
in which I had promised myself much satisfaction as well in rendering service to my Country and atchieving
Fame for the officers and soldiers employed in executing of it........Providence has ordered otherways.......I cant help
feeling great regret at the dissapointment whilst I reflect with gratitude on the honor confered upon me by
your Excellency in affording me an opportunity of acquiring so much at so small a risk. I pretend not to say that
the work as been performed as well as it might have been. Perhaps I have been deficient in point of discernment.
But I am sure I have not been in points of exertion, These have been stretched to their utmost yet I have
unfortunately failed. Failed at a time when I looked on the price Just ready to be received, which was truly the
case from ten to one o’clock on the night of the twelth Instant. With every thing ready to make the attack we was
Just within view of the Fort undiscovered whilst every breast was filled with ardor and the most animated determination,
But lost it in the strange and unaccountable manner which I before elated.

I have the honor to be with the most profound respect and esteem, your
Excellencies most obedient and very humble servant

Marinus Willett ”




Some Casualties of the Rhode Island Regiment in the Ft. Oswego Expedition Yet again, the great State of Rhode Island has erected no monument to its casualties.



Deaths (abstracted from the 1783 Muster Rolls of the Rhode Island Regiment)

Fourth Company (Capt. Zephaniah Brown)

Jack Blink - - “Dead February 15, 1783”
(Note: The Regimental Book of the Rhode Island Regiment on page 55 states that
an error was made in the report of Jack's Death and that he was captured at Ft. Oswego
and was later exchanged as a P.O.W.)

Prince Watson - - “Dead February 15, 1783”
(Note: The Regimental Book of the Rhode Island Regiment has contrary information on page 79. "Prime Watson"
was captured on February 14, 1783 and rejoined the Regiment on August 1, 1783 from a P.O.W.)

Simon Whipple - - “Deceased February 15, 1783”
(Note: The Regimental Book of the Rhode Island Regiment has contrary information on page 79. "Simon Whippel" died
May 14, 1783.)


Sixth Company (Capt. Ebenezer Macomber)

Cornelius Drisskill - - “Died February 14, 1783”
(Note: The Regimental Book of the Rhode Island Regiment on page 59 states that an error was made in the report of Cornelius'
death and that he actually deserted during the Ft. Oswego Expedition)

Nicholas Willson - - “Died February 19, 1783” (Regimental Book confirms this info.; Nicholas died by
drowning in the Mohawk River, see Letter of Major Coggeshall Olney to Lt. Col. Jeremiah Olney)


Eighth Company (Capt. Benjamin Peckham)

Toney Phillips - - “Deceased February 22, 1783” (Regimental Book confirms this info.)




Injuries from frostbite and/or exposure:
(from: John Russell Bartlett, "Records of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,"
Vol 10, pp. 162 - 166)

Joseph A. Richards, Corporal, Second Company (Capt. John Holden), “Loss of part of all the toes on
the left foot, by reason of severe frost when on the Oswego expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in Feb. 1783.....” (Bartlett, p. 162)

Brittain Saltonstall, Private, Eighth Company (Capt. Benjamin Peckham), “Loss of all the toes on
the right foot and one joint from each of the toes on the left foot, by reason of severe frost when on the Oswego
expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783” (Bartlett, p. 162). Brittain was a black soldier of the
1778 "Black Regiment", having enlisted April 24, 1778 (Sidney S. Rider, “Rhode Island Historical Tracts # 10:
An Historical Enquiry Concerning the Attempt to Raise a Regiment of Slaves by Rhode Island during the War
of the Revolution,” Providence Press Company, Printers, 1880, p. 54; see also Daniel Popek's Book).

Jack Champlin, Private, Fourth Company (Capt. Zephaniah Brown), “The same disability as last
mentioned, and on the same expedition.” (Bartlett, p. 162). Jack was a black soldier of the 1778 “Black Regiment,”
having enlisted February 25, 1778 (Rider, p. 53).

George Townsend, Private, Sixth Company (Capt. Ebenezer Macomber), “Loss of all the toes from the
right foot, and the left foot and toes very much injured, by reason of severe frost when on the Oswego expedition,
commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 163)

Levi Ceasar, Private, Eighth Company (Capt. Benjamin Peckham), “Loss of all the toes on the left
foot, and the toes on the right foot very much injured, by reason of severe frost when on the Oswego expedition,
commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 163)

William Emerson, Private, Seventh Company (Capt. David Sayles), “Loss of all the toes on the left
foot, and a bad sore on the ball of said foot; likewise the toes of the right foot much injured, by reason
of severe frost, on the Oswego expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 163).

Prince Greene, Private, Eighth Company (Capt. Benjamin Peckham), “Loss of all the toes, and the
feet very tender, by reason of severe frost, when on the Oswego expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in
February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 163)

Prince Vaughan, Private, Eighth Company (Capt. Benjamin Peckham), “Loss of all the toes on the
right foot, and one joint from the toes on the left foot, by reason of severe frost, when on the Oswego expedition,
commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 164). Prince was a black soldier of the 1778
“Black Regiment,” having enlisted on July 31, 1778 (Rider, p. 55).

John Amesbury, Private, Seventh Company (Capt. David Sayles), “Loss of one joint from the toes
of the right foot, and the toes of the left foot considerably injured, by reason of severe frost when on the
Oswego expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 164)

Robert Piper, Private, Light Infantry Company (Capt. William Allen), “......also loss of all the toes
on the left foot, and one joint from the toes on the right foot, by reason of severe frost, when on the Oswego
expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 165)

Richard Grant, Private, Light Infantry Company (Capt. William Allen), “Loss of all the toes on
the right foot, and the toes on the left foot considerably injured, by reason of severe frost when on the Oswego
expedtion, commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 165)

Guy Watson, Private, Fourth Company (Capt. Zephaniah Brown), “Loss of three joints from the
toes of the right foot, by reason of severe frost when on the Oswego expedition, commanded by
Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 165). Guy was a black soldier of the 1779 “Black Regiment”
(Rider, p.62).

Plato Wheeler, Private, Fourth Company (Capt. Zephaniah Brown), “Loss of all the toes on the left
foot and part of the toes on the right foot, by reason of severe frost, (and the sores have never been cured),
when on the Oswego expedition, commanded by Col. Willet, in February 1783.” (Bartlett, p. 166)

Plato M’Clanning, (“Plato McClannell” in the 1783 Muster Roll), Private, Fourth Company
(Capt. Zephaniah Brown), “Loss of one joint from two toes of the right foot, and one joint from the great toe
of the left foot, occasioned by severe frost when on the Oswego expedition, commanded by Col. Willet,
in February 1783; also, a rupture in the groin.” (Bartlett, p. 166)



Note: The above list is not a complete list of all of the frostbite injuries suffered by the men of the
Rhode Island Regiment. Approximately 130 men of the Oswego expedition suffered frostbite,
while almost 40 men had to have toes, finger, hands, or feet amputated from severe frostbite (see Letter of
Major Coggeshall Olney to George Washington dated February 27, 1783, Library of Congress Washington
Papers website).






State of New York Historical Marker for Fort Herkimer in the Mohawk River Valley.
The fort was the starting point of the expedition against Fort Oswego.






D.A.R. marker for Fort Herkimer.






The Dutch Reformed Church near Fort Herkimer was built in 1753 and was a landmark that the
Rhode Island Regiment passed on their expedition against Fort Oswego.






The last American fortification in the Mohawk Valley was Fort Stanwix, which
has been rebuilt as the Fort Stanwix National Monument in downtown Rome, N.Y.
by the National Park Service. When the Rhode Island Regiment marched to Fort
Ontario in February 1783, Fort Stanwix was ungarrisoned and in ruins.






Map of the 1760’s earthwork Fort Ontario from State of New York Interpretive
Sign, Fort Ontario State Historic Site. In 1783, Fort Ontario looked much like the
1760’s earthwork fortification depicted here.






D.A.R. monument to Fort Ontario.






View of modern Fort Ontario, which has been restored to its 1860s appearance
by the State of New York.






Another view of the northwest bastion of modern Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York
Lake Ontario is in the background.





The Rhode Island Battalion remains in the Saratoga area through the Summer of 1783. Sgt. John Chillson's last
muster roll is dated June 8, 1783, and he was furloughed/discharged from the Rhode Island Regiment along with
most of his fellow "during the war" enlisted soldiers on June 15, 1783; John was awarded two badges for faithful
service (p. 85, 89, Regimental Book, Rhode Island Regiment (1781 - 1783), Microfilm Section, Rhode Island State
Archives, Providence, R.I.). Some members of the Rhode Island Battalion (the three years enlistees of 1781) did
not return home until Christmas 1783.


Sgt. John Chillson
Co. Muster Rolls    April & May 1783    Present    Dated June 8, 1783






John Chillson was living in North Providence with his new family in 1790 (1790 Federal Census).
He moved back to Smithfield and lived out his life there. He was quite poor, as he did not own
any land. His daughter Sarah Chillson, wife of Thomas Smith, and other descendants filed a Bounty
Land Warrant for John's service in the American Revolution in 1832.


children:

***Sarah6 Chillson
Nancy6 Chillson (1790 - ?)
Ethan6 Chillson (1792 - 1818?)
Betsey6 Chillson (1794 - ?)
Amie6 Chillson (1798 - 1827?)
John6 Chillson (1804 - 1866?)
Eliza Anna6 Chillson (1807 - ?)
Ruth6 Chillson (1812 - ?)





***Sarah6 Chillson (John5, Joseph4, William3, John2, Walsingham1)

b. September 5, 1788 in Smithfield, R.I.
m. Bef. 1808 in Smithfield, R.I.?    Thomas Smith    b. Abt. February 1785 in Smithfield, R.I.    d. May 20, 1857 in Smithfield, R.I.
d. September 24, 1841 in Smithfield, R.I.


children:

***Delilah7 Smith (1807 - 1875)
Charles7 Smith (1812 - 1886)
Thomas7 Smith (Abt. 1815 - 1878)
Elisha 7 M. Smith (Abt. 1819 - 1853)
Sterry7 Smith (Abt. 1821 - 1898)
Amelia7 Smith (1825 - Aft. 1856)
Nancy7 Smith (Abt. 1827 - 1900)
Sarah7 A. (a.k.a. "Sally") Smith (1827? - 1887)
Julia Ann7 Smith (Abt. 1829 - 1898)
Frances Jane7 Smith (Abt. 1831 - 1890)







Power of Attorney signed by Sarah (Chilson) Smith in Sergeant John Chilson's Bounty Land Warrant File 1908-100,
courtesy of U.S. National Archives.











These web pages are currently under construction, so please be patient.

If you are a relative or are interested in obtaining or providing additional information
on these families, then please send me an email.